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JC.'C.-7 ssSes — 


Rock Valley 

Local History/Issues Projects 

Spring Semester 2005 

Instructor: Scott Fisher 


Rock Valley College Student Local History/Issues Projects 

Spring Semester 2005 


Student Author 

Alpine Home Air Prod. (Orig. Rockford YMCA) 
Belvidere & Kishwaukee River 
Camp Grant 

Cash Historic County Residence 
Concord Commons 
Crusader Clinic 

Disabled American Veterans of Rockford 

Ethnic Heritage Museum 

Gayle Baseball Complex 

Lawson Children’s Home 

Lockwood Park Observatory 

Loves Park Fire Station 

Marinelli Field 

Masons of Winnebago County 
Octane of Rockford 
Rockford Country Club 
Rockford Marina 

Rockford Memorial Hospital NICU 
Rockford Ministers Fellowship 
Rockford Riding Club 
Rockford Movie Theaters 
Rockford Peaches 

Rockford Public Schools - Elem. School Behavior 
Rockford’s West Side Support for Children 
Rockford’s West Side “Stop the Violence” 

Tae Kwan Do - Rockford & the World 
Winnebago Village - Yesterday & Today 
Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Rockford 

Denise Glasenapp 
Laura Fitts 
Josie Cash 
Anthony Lofton 
Rhashonda Alexander 
James Sparrowgrove 
Maria Martinez 
Chris Williams 
Kristen Daniels 
Marcela Breceda 
Sylvia Escobedo 
Jeff Totten 
Sue Weber 
Sarah Hoover 
Steve Seidel 
Ashley Hughes 
Stephanie Anderson 
John Austin 
Timothy Gustafson 
Adam Murphy 
Ashley Luce 
Jennifer Golden 
Sherrell Wiles 
Sandra Hawthorne 
Silvestre Picaz 
Kellie Symonds 
John Girone 




Denise Glasenapp 
English 103, Section DWX 
25 April 2005 

Glasenapp — 1 

Belvidere and the Kishwaukee River Through the Ages 

Perhaps it is part of human nature to want to know about the past, to feel the bond 
between one’s predecessors and the present, and in so doing, wonder about the legacy 
that they too will leave behind. Genealogy and preserving family history is becoming 
more and more popular, and the average American high school graduate has probably 
taken at least ten years of history courses throughout his schooling. But for all the 

I jS 

emphasis on those days of yore, few know much about the history of his or her 



hometown. Learning about local history should be encouraged, for in studying the 
history of a town, a person is able to observe the events and forces of the past in a 


microcosm, and furthermore, it helps one appreciate all the layers of history that exist in a 
place. Belvidere, Illinois is one such place to be examined, where the forces of the 


nineteenth century were inherent in its creation and remain an influence today — and in 
the center of it all is the Kishwaukee River. 

If one were to take a stroll through downtown Belvidere today, beginning in the 
north end of State or Main Streets and heading south, he would experience a well- 
developed small city, composed of historic buildings housing modem businesses. One 
would see the courthouse and the former Lincoln School, across from Big Thunder Park, 
which contains a pavilion and open green space, and would be surrounded by a historic 
district of homes in the Victorian style. Continuing south, he would cross the bridge and 
would overlook the Kishwaukee River, one of the few Class A rivers in the state, which 

Glasenapp — 2 

is lined with native trees and plants. Approaching the railroad tracks, he would notice 
buildings dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, now 
containing law offices and Mexican grocery stores, with apartments above the businesses 
(Glasenapp). If he were to take Lincoln Avenue east, he would see the restored Baltic 
Mill in Belvidere Park, now a community forum and stage. He might remark on the 
small-town feel that remains in a city of over twenty-five thousand. The well-organized, 
sophisticated design of the town has always been a source of pride for the citizens of 
Belvidere ( Belvidere Illustrated 2). 

But what existed here before? That might be a query with more weight than one 
might think. Susan Post of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports that a 
“total of 560 archaeological sites have been recorded for the Kishwaukee area and range 
in age from the Paleo-Indian (10,000 B.C.)” (Post). In the Belvidere Historical Society 
Museum is a room containing fossils dating from thousands of years ago, along with the 
leg bone of a mastodon found in the 1970s in Garden Prairie. Post adds, “During the 
waning stages of the Ice Age, the first Native Americans began to arrive in Illinois. 
Settlement first occurred along many of the state’s rivers and streams, and the 
Kishwaukee was no exception.” 

When the early settlers of Belvidere arrived in 1836, they found a band of 
Pottawotomie Indians “near what is now Spencer Park. Their great chief, Big 
Thunder. . .had already been buried on Court House Hill, and soon the entire tribe moved 
beyond the Mississippi” (Moorhead 69). Following a national trend was the exodus of 

Glasenapp — 3 

Native Americans from the Midwest, either migrating voluntarily or by being forced onto 
reservations. By 1 840, the Pottawotomie Indians were largely gone from Boone County. 
National sentiments of Manifest Destiny, of populating the United States from Atlantic to 
Pacific, did not include preserving the life and history of the native people. The Native 
Americans were only a point of interest to the travelers as an amusement. On that 
subject, more must be said about Chief Big Thunder. “Big Thunder believed that Squaw 
Prairie was the precise center of the Indian Heaven; that a great battle was one day to be 
fought there between the red and white men; that he should be placed in a sitting posture, 
on the summit of the mound where he could witness it, and from where his spirit would 
animate his people, and contribute the victory he said must ultimately come to them” 
(Landmarks 72). 

But how, one might ask, would the settlers know this? Jeri Durley of the Boone 
County Historical Society points to the motives of one man, Simon Phineas Doty. Doty, 
alone with Dr. Daniel Whitney, Dr. Josiah Goodhue, and Ebenezer Peck, were the first 
settlers in Belvidere, all arriving by August 1935. These influential citizens organized 
the Belvidere Company, with a capital of ten thousand dollars, in order to build saw and 
grist mills (Moorhead 69). The Kishwaukee River thus played an important part in the 
settling of Belvidere, as it was the power for these mills (See Appendix i.). These 
citizens went on to have prominent standing in Belvidere as doctors, businessmen, and 
merchandisers (Moorhead 74). Doty owned the Doty Hotel, located along the path of the 
stagecoach route through Belvidere, now Lincoln Avenue (Appendix ii), and took people 
to see the burial mound of Big Thunder as part of a tourist trip for his hotel. He was a 

Glasenapp — 4 

colorful figure, and was known to spin tall tales while drinking ( Belvidere Illustrated 28). 
No accounts of Big Thunder can be traced back further than Doty, and Mike Doyle 
mentions George Gibson’s theory that Doty fabricated the history of Big Thunder for his 
own profit (Doyle). According to Belvidere Illustrated, Doty and his friends were also 
known to replace the bones of Big Thunder as the “originals” were carried off by 
travelers and watered away. 

Another source of controversy is the Underground Railroad. Many citizens of 
Belvidere note houses rumored to have been on the route. J.P. Tripp, of Bonus 
Township, recollects in 1896, “Our house became a station on the underground railroad 
from St. Louis to Milwaukee, by IaLe to Canada. Smith, living at the stone quarry south 
of Belvidere, brought the darkeys to our house, and Father took them to Wesley Diggins, 
who lived where Harvard now stands. Diggins to the next station, and so on to 
Milwaukee, where they were put aboard the steamboat which delivered them to Canada, 
and in a few days the word would come back over the line, ‘all safe in the land of the 
free’” (Tripp). Mike Doyle, local historian, questions the logic of Belvidere being part of 
the Underground Railroad; that the stories are more folklore than fact. “The question is,” 
he comments, “would African-Americans feel threatened in Belvidere? There are no 
accounts of slave-catchers being in the town. Also, it is just does not make sense 
geographically. Why would a person enter Canada through Illinois?” Especially if it 
meant that they would have to cross through the swamps in northern Wisconsin or brave 
the conditions of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, it seems unlikely. Doyle adds, “If the 
Underground Railroad did exist in Belvidere, it was most likely a one-time occurrence.” 



Glasenapp — 5 

The controversy surrounding Big Thunder and the Underground Railroad arises 
from the very nature of these subjects. When a person must rely on secondhand accounts 
and possible fabrication, it is hard to ever know the truth. John Molyneaux of the 
Rockford Public Library spoke to this author on the process of verifying the credibility of 
a source, saying that a source must be reputable and contemporary and able to be 
verified, something that one cannot easily do with family history, where the past is passed 
down like a game of telephone. Everyone has a relative that can spin a story; if stories of 
the past are regaled by these people, who knows what the truth will evolve into? 
Molyneaux also added that many people mistake anti-slavery sentiment for involvement 
with the Underground Railroad, which is a stretch easily made in storytelling. Doty was 
one of the first settlers, and nothing can be traced back farther, and the secretive nature of 
the Underground Railroad does not easily lend itself to record-keeping. So this author 
concludes that while these stories make for interesting campfires or drives through town, 
they cannot be perceived as entirely factual. For more on the Underground Railroad, see 
appendixes v and vi. 

The railroad was also instrumental in the development of Belvidere. The settlers 
of Boone County came largely from New York, and so the town was constructed in 
classic New England town hall fashion. The city anticipated the railroad coming in on 
the north side of the river, near the business and municipal districts, but William Holt 
Gilman held land on the south side of the river and gave the railroad the right of way 
through his land (Moorhead 82). Without stable bridges to cross the Kishwaukee, two 
Belvidere, a South and a North, existed for a time. The location of the railroad in respect 

Glasenapp — 6 

to the river also influenced the development of neighboring settlements. The village of 
Newburg was anticipating the arrival of the railroad in its mill town, but when it went 
instead to the south. Cherry Valley prospered and Newburg is now a ghost town 
(Landmarks 72). 

The land surrounding the Kishwaukee is valuable both geographically and 
geologically. In the DNR Report, A.H. Worthen contrasts the past and present conditions 
of the land, saying “Before the busy teeming millions of the sons of toil swarmed over 
the fertile West, prairie flowers in spring-like beauty and autumnal glory bloomed where 
the glancing plow-share turns the spring furrow and the golden-ripened wheat fields dally 
with the fugitive winds. The purple and golden clouds of flowers that used to lie on these 
prairies are no more; but in their place the tasseled Indian com waves its head and men 
are growing rich from the cultivation in useful crops of these old flower-beds of nature.” 
Today only 52 acres (.006% of total area) remain in high-quality, undegraded condition. 
Mayor Fred Brereton stated in his State of the City Address that the “Smart-Growth 
Initiative” and conservation of the Kishwaukee River Valley are a high priority 
(Brereton). Belvidere has grown rapidly in recent years, but it looks like the future 
growth will be smart in order to preserve the land and avoid urban sprawl. Considering 
the value the Kishwaukee River has had functionally and aesthetically through 
Belvidere’s history, it should be a priority to preserve it, especially against the forces of 




Works Cited 

Anti-Slavery Convention Ad. The Belvidere Standard. November 1851. 

“Baltic Mills.” Photographs. Landmarks — The Story of Boone County . Belvidere, IL: 
Boone County Heritage Days Committee, June 1985. 59. Circa 1887. 

Belvidere Illustrated: Historical, Descriptive, and Biographical. Belvidere, 111.: Daily 
Republican, 1896. 

“Belvidere in 1838.” Map. Boone County Historical Society Museum Archival Files. 
Accessed 18 April 2005. 

Brereton, Frederic C., Mayor. “State of the City Address.” 7 March 2005. Transcript 
at . Accessed 16 April 2005. 
“Business Portion of North State Street.” Photograph. Belvidere Illustrated: Historical, 
Descriptive, and Biographical. Belvidere, 111.: Daily Republican, 1896. 6. 

No Date. 

“Court House.” Photograph. Belvidere Illustrated: Historical, Descriptive, and 
Biographical. Belvidere, 111.: Daily Republican, 1896. 6. No Date. 

Durley, Jeri. Research Assistance and Personal Interview, Boone County Historical 
Society. 18 April 2005. 

Doyle, Mike. Personal Interview, Belvidere High School. 18 April 2005. 

Frank, Fred. Landmarks — The Story of Boone County . Belvidere, IL: Boone County 
Heritage Days Committee, June 1985. 

Glasenapp, Denise. Personal Experience. 

“Marshall Beach.” Set of Photographs. Landmarks — The Story of Boone County . 


Glasenapp — 8 

Belvidere, IL: Boone County Heritage Days Committee, June 1985. 81. 

Circa 1930’s. 

Molyneaux, John. Research Assistance and Interview, Rockford Public Library. 

21 April 2005. 

Moorhead, Virginia B. (ed.) Boone County Then and Now: 1835-1976 . Belvidere, IL: 
Boone County Bicentennial Commission. 1976. 

“North State Street Brewery.” Photograph. ‘“Old Dunton Home’ at 401 East Lincoln 
Avenue Carries Heritage of Civil War Underground Railroad!” Heritage Days 
Booklet. 4 July 1977. 4. 

“Old Dunton Home.” Photograph. “ ‘Old Dunton Home’ at 401 East Lincoln Avenue 
Carries Heritage of Civil War Underground Railroad!” Heritage Days Booklet, 
4 July 1977. 2. 

Post, Susan L. “The Kishwaukee River Basin: An Inventory of the Region’s 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Realty and Environmental 
Planning. 1997. Accessed 16 April 2005. 

“South State Street, Looking South in Business Section.” Photograph. Belvidere 
Illustrated: Historical, Descriptive, and Biographical. Belvidere, 111.: Daily 
Republican, 1896. 6. No Date. 

Tripp, J.P. “Recollections of the Past: J.P. Tripp of Bonus Writes of the Early Days in 
Boone County.” Local History File #489, Ida Public Library. Accessed 16 

March 2005. 

appends i 

Is equipped with a full line of roller machinery, mak- 
ing it a complete gradual reduction full roller mill for 
the making of the finest grades of flour. The Buck- 
wheat and Rye Flour department of this mill are 
separate and also complete in itself. Graham and 
bolted meal made in unexcelled quality. In ihe feed 
department there is a 24 inch unique Attrition Mill, 
driven by a 48 inch McCcrmack Turbine, of the latest 

Baltic Mills 


Manufacturer and Wholesale Dealer iu 
all kinds of 

Flour, Meal &Feed 

The Baltic Mills have again started 
up, and are now prepared to do ail 
kinds of grinding. 

Custom Work a Speoialty. 

Flour, Feed, Meal, «.%c. on hand and 
for sale at tho lowest prices. 

Thanking my patrons for their past 
favors, I will endeavor to please them 
In the future. 

Belvldere, April IS, 1887. 



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Written : £awta 3itte 

Fitts 1 

Laura Fitts 
English 103 
10 May 2005 

The Years of Camp Grant 

As the public became more impatient with growth, a Chamber of Commerce 
committee of Rockford citizens proceeded with their untiring energy to persuade the 
government to establish a large national army training camp (The City of Rockford Her- 
Men of Affairs 1917). 

In the words of an editor at Rockford Register Star, “Rockford was one of sixteen 
cities in the country where the government was to establish large national army training 
camps. Located about five miles south of Rockford 111., to the east of Rock River, and 
connected with that city by a magnificent concrete highway. Camp Grant, which was the 
training quarters for the men who would constitute the divisions to be drawn from 
northern Illinois and all except the Lake Michigan shore counties of Wisconsin is one of 
the northerly of the 16 cantonment. ,, (Showalter450). 

Approximately four thousand acres of land was needed for the training facility. 
According to the editor at Rockford Register Star, “President John Camlin of Chamber of 
Commerce spearheaded the drive to bring the military post to Rockford. He appointed a 
fifteen-man committee to look into the matter and these people worked tirelessly to 
secure Rockford as the site. Mr. Camlin directed the group to obtain maps and other data 
to make a good showing for the Army’s board of five officers who were coming to 

Fitts 2 

inspect. The Chamber of Commerce group visited then Secretary of War Newton D. 
Baker in Washington on June 12, 1917, although the site was suppose to have already 
been decided by June 3. This delay on the part of the Army gave the group valuable 
additional time to present their case. Secretary Baker was won over and the decision to 
locate at the area south of Rockford was made official on June 14.” 

The question that needs to be answered is why Rockford? There were several 
reasons why Rockford was chosen for the location of the military training camp. In the 
words of a writer at Rockford Register Star , “It was called fertile and well drained. 
Railroad facilities played a large part in Rockford being selected. Two roads - the 
Quincy (CB&Q) and the Chicago, Milwaukee and Gary (CN&G) had tracks lying 
adjacent to the New Milford location. This was vital for not only moving materials but 
moving troops.” Terry Dyer, Director of Memorial Hall, discussed other reasons why the 
land was chosen. First, seven artesian wells were located on the land. Secondly, the 
prestige beauty of the land, which was a mix of prairie fields and farmland was a 
deciding factor. The climate in this region is identical to the weather in Northern France. 
Thirdly, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce vowed to raise one hundred thousand 
dollars to help fund the project, which they successfully accomplished. 

By June 20, 1917 the land was leased and ready for the construction project. 
According to the editor at the Rockford Register Star , “Bates and Rogers of Chicago was 
awarded the contract to construct the buildings and local contractors were understandably 
upset. It was charged that this firm was only a railroad grading contractor and not a 

Fitts 3 

super-structure builder. As it turned out, the structural portion of the project was sublet 
to Rockford firms and this alone amounted to $3,500,000. Eventually, Uncle Sam would 
spend $1 1,000,000 on installation of utilities and buildings for the World War I effort. 

At some time after the leases were signed the government decided to condemn the land 
and buy out the owners. This date was not ascertained but 3300 acres were finally 
purchased at a cost of $835,000. This was about $230 per acre, while another parcel of 
land was acquired for $300 per acre along Eleventh Street Road in 1919.” 

As the government was able to purchase some of the leased land, other 
landowners weren’t as eager to sell. In the words of an editor at Rockford Register Star , 
“There was a major problem involving three land owners. August Johnson at the extreme 
northwest comer of the site, Ralph Baldwin south of him, and Charles Samuelson on the 
eastern border refused to sign away their properties. Lawsuits ensued and finally these 
men were forced to move. By 1923, Johnson got all back rent and returned to his land 
having never sold. By the time there were concrete foundations and sidewalks that 
required much effort to remove. Samuelson finally sold during World War II while 
under protest and Baldwin also was forced to sell. As lawyers were hurling charges at 
one another regarding eminent domain. Camp Grant continued to take shape. The first 
shipments of lumber were brought in on June22. A 150,000 board feet of lumber 
contract was awarded to Rockford Lumber and Fuel Company. The camp included 1800 
buildings consisting of 32 million board feet of lumber, 30 miles of water pipe, 250 miles 
of electrical wiring, 1000 ton of nails, 170 carloads of plumbing supplies and 150 

Fitts 4 

acres of roofing felt. A total of fifteen tons of rubbish and garbage were generated each 

By September 1917, the first draftees arrive and line up to receive their uniforms. 
In the words of an editor at Rockford Register Star, “The first increment of approximately 

2000 drafted men arrived during the period of September 5 to 9, 1917. The second 
increment of about 1600 arrived during the period from September 9 to 23, 1917, These 
two increments of enlisted men from the states of Illinois and Wisconsin were preceded 
by 1 200 commissioned officers of the reserve corps and national army, who arrived on 
August 29 from Fort Sheridan, where they had completed a three month course of 
intensive training. The draftee’s primary focus is on infantry-related field skills. Camp 
Grant would train 56,238 troops during World War I, with an estimated one million 
people passing through in some capacity. 



Fitts 5 

The city of Rockford economic effects from Camp Grant were considerable. 
According to Jon Lundin, author of Rockford: An Illustrated History, “It is estimated that 
the camp added as much as one million dollars a month to Rockford business. 

Restaurants and barber shops developed regular queues. Movie theaters, such as the 
Palm and Midway played to packed houses” (Lundin 122). To quote the editor of the 
Rockford Register Star, “When America plunged into the World War I, Rockford was 
just ripening for its transition from an overgrown country town to a small metropolis. In 
the course of two decades between 1900 and 1920, Rockford’s population grew from 
thirty-one thousand to sixty-five thousand, stimulated by immigration, a healthy 
economy, and the creation of Camp Grant”(Lundinl24). “Apart from its capable and 
progressive population and the recent influence of the Camp, the reasons for its 
substantial growth are its railroad facilities, its efficiently developed and cheap water 
power, its highly productive tributary area, and its rapidly developed manufacturing 
industries” (Salisbury72). 

Despite a wide range of advantages from the camp, it also had several 
disadvantages, beginning with the outbreak of an influenza epidemic in Septemberl918. 
“Public buildings were turned into emergency hospitals, railroad station platforms were 
stacked high with flag-draped coffins, and Rockford residents became accustomed to the 
frequent passing through the city streets of Army trucks upon which were piled the nude 
bodies of soldier victims of the scourge that was sweeping the nation” (Nelson418). 

“The epidemic which raged for five weeks in the city and camp caused the illness of 
approximately twelve thousand soldiers and eight thousand civilians. Deaths in Rockford 

Fitts 6 

totaled two hundred and thirty two. At Camp Grant total deaths exceeded twelve 
hundred” (Nelson4 1 9). By 1 922 the war department decided Camp Grant was among 
those to be abandoned. As written by an editor of the Rockford Register Star, “The 
wartime buildings at Camp Grant were demolished and sold by the Camp Grant 
Wrecking company during the period from 1922 to 1924, with exception of 12 wooden 
warehouses, one garage, one mechanic’s shop, one fire station, the pump house and five 
farm houses.” 

After many of the structures were tom down, the State of Illinois took over the 
camp and made it a training ground for the Illinois National Guard. According to Terry 
Dyer, Director of Memorial Hall, “The state of Illinois commenced its construction 
program in 1924. This included erection of mess halls latrines and other buildings 
required by the National Guard. After seven years of activity, the camp returned to the 
agricultural environment that it was in the past. The only activity was to be the two week 
summer training of the National Guard.” 

According to the editor of Rockford Register Star, “This is the way things stayed 
until 1933 when there was a part time revival. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a 
make work activity created by the federal government during the depths of the great 
depression, began an operation that was to last until 1936. Eleven hundred strong, they 
were at the peak and projects were undertaken at the time. Among the projects was the 
revamping of the Bell Bowl. This was a natural outdoor amphitheater named for General 
George Bell, the second camp commander who served in 1918. Another project in which 

Fitts 7 

the CCC engaged was the plan to convert the camp into a sports complex to more 
efficiently use the existing acreage.” 

No one could have known though, that another World War was lurking around the 
comer and that Camp Grant would once again take on a military atmosphere. To quote 
the editor of the Rockford Register Star, “Adolf Hitler was making waves in Europe and 
the United States would eventually be drawn into the conflict. Accordingly, on October 
11,1 940 it was made official that the camp would become a reception center for the 
draftees in addition to becoming a medical replacement center. The latter purpose was 
decided upon since the camp was close to Chicago where the most modem medical 
practices were being developed. Construction was begun in late 1 940 at a cost of 
$4,000,000. There were to be 28,000 conscripted men trained yearly and basic training 
was to last 13 weeks. As for the medical center, 75,000 men were to be placed at Camp 
Grant. But before their training would begin, much building was to be completed. The 
firm of John Griffith and Sons of Chicago was awarded a contract to construct 341 new 
buildings including 165 barracks. The first 100 draftees arrived on February 17, 1941, 
while the first 270 medical replacement troops came on March 17, 1941.” “ It processed 
three hundred thousand men by late 1 943 and then became the second largest medical 
replacement center” (Howard 523). 

By 1 946, the last hurrah for the camp and the city was in Governor Dwight Green 
hands. The Governor tried to exert his influence on the Army to make Camp Grant a 
permanent facility. In the words of an editor at Rockford Register Star, “He couldn’t 
even save it for an Illinois National Guard summer encampment and lost out to Camp 


Fitts 8 

Ellis at Peoria for the plum. Major General Leo M. Boyle states, “I believe the war 
department made a wise choice,” he said. “ It stands to reason that with the technical 
training needed by a modem army, the 1 8,000 acres at Camp Ellis are better suited for the 
jobs than 3,000 acres at Camp Grant.” After hearing Boyle’s decision, Governor Green 
suggested making the site an airport. Support for this grew as troop numbers dwindled. 
Only two thousand six hundred remained on April 8. It was announced that the camp 
would close on April 30, which turned out to be the day that the last man mustered out. 
On June 20 the camp was closed to visitors forever.” 

According to an editor at Rockford Register Star, “Camp Grant’s parade grounds 
and adjacent property on the 3,000 acre military reservation are extremely well adaptable 
for airport purposes and form preliminary studies is a better site on which to locate an 
airport than any other within the vicinity of Rockford, Robert Dewey, Director of the 
Illinois State Department of Aeronautics, declared in a communication received on June 
4, 1946.” 

As the war ended there was a housing shortage and use of the camp barracks was 
suggested. According to an editor at Rockford Register Star, “A 129 family projects was 
drawn up as means of providing homes. According to Terry Dyer, Director of Memorial 
Hall, “Some of the barracks were sold for as little as a pennies on the dollar. Many of the 
barracks were used for apartments, while some were disassembled for the lumber. Camp 
Grant equipment was inventoried in May and on September 1, 1946 an auction was held. 
On October 16, the Army turned over 3317 acres to the War Department, which was later 
sold to the Greater Rockford Airport Authority.” 

Fitts 9 

While the majority of the camp is gone, there are still some of the original 
buildings still standing in different areas of Rockford today. Just reading all the 
information on the camp and the soldiers that passed through it, I believe Camp Grant 
was the main key that opened the door for the successful city that Rockford it today. 

Fitts 10 

Works Cited 

“Ask U.S. to Freeze Camp.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, Rockford 
Public Library Reference Section. 8 May 1946. 

“Atwood Outdoor Education Center.” Rockford Park District. Online Database. Yahoo. . 

“45 Barracks, 8 Messhalls are Closed At Camp Grant.” Rockford Register Star . 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library Reference Section. Mar. 1946. 
“Boyle Defends Camp Fold up. Denies Fie Had Any Part in It.” Rockford Register Star. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 29 Mar. 1946. 
“Camp Grant.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library 
Reference Section. August 1993 

“Camp Grant.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library 
Reference Section. December 1983. 

“Camp Grant Comes to Rockford.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, 
Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 23 Sept. 1975. 

“The City of Rockford and Her-Men of Affairs.” Genealogical Room, Rockford Public 
Library Reference Section. 1917. 

“City’s Fight to Get Army Camp is Told.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana 
Files, Rockford Public Library Reference Section. No Date. 

Howard, Robert P. Illinois: A History of the Prairie State . Grand Rapids, MI: William B. 
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972. 

“June 20 Official Date for Camp Grant Closing.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana 

Fitts 1 1 

Files, Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 12 June 1946. 

Lundin, Jon W. Rockford: An Illustrated History . Chatsworth, CA: Windsor 
Publications, 1989. 

Molyneaux, John. Personal Interview. History Room, Rockford Public Library, 
Rockford, IL. 28 March 2005. 

“Nation Gave City Stirring Role in War.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, 
Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 20 March 1938. 

Nelson, C. Hijalmar. Sinnissippi Saga: A History of Rockford and Winnebago County, 
Illinois . Rockford, IL: Winnebago County Illinois Sesquicentennial Committee, 
1968. Chapter 27, pp.415-417. 

Oberg, Dave. Personal Interview. Midway Village and Museum Center, Rockford, 

IL. 15 Mar. 2005. 

Salisbury, Rollin D. The Environment of Camp Grant . Rockford, IL: Authority of the 
State of Illinois, 1918 

Showalter, William J. “The Geographical and Historical Environment of America’s 32 
New Soldier Cities.” The National Geographic Magazine Nov.-Dee. 1917: 

Sweet, Judy. Personal Interview. History Room, Rockford Public Library, Rockford, IL. 
24 March 2005. 

“United Front On Camp Plans.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, Rockford 
Public Library Reference Section. 29 May 1946. 

Josie Cash 
Comp 103 
4 April 2005 

A New Life for an Old Soul 

Cash 1 

The year now is 2005, and the property located at 306 Victory Street in 
Rockford, IL, looks very different than it did seventy-five years ago in 1929, when 
the house was built. This writer will share her personal contributions to her home, 
as it is seen today, through memories and photos. This writer will also include the 
history of her home and land beginning in 1843 to 2005. From land transactions, 
and warranty deeds of changing ownership, along with interviews from individuals 
that have experienced changes to the property throughout the years. Furthermore 
this writer will share her and her extended family’s personal feelings and 
experiences with their home, and the ghost that shares their home with them today. 
The first land transaction occurred on Jan. 23 rd , 1843. Thatcher Blake purchased 
eighty (80) acres recorded in the trace book page 19, of the W. l A N. % Sec’n 20, 
Town 44 N. Range 1, E. ( Holland, Ferguson & Co. Abstract of Title on lot one- 
hundred eight (108). The land consisted of forty (40) to fifty-nine (59) acres bought 
and sold throughout many years. 

This writer’s actual documentation starts in 1915, with copies of Warranty 
Deeds. Warranty Deeds document all land and property transactions that have 
occurred. In 1915, the owners consisted of many people who had purchased 
approximately forty (40) acres of the South West quarter % of the North-west 
quarter % of section Thirty-two (32), Township twenty-nine (29), Range Eleven (11), 
East of the fourth Principle Meridian (Winnebago county, Warranty Deed. July 

Cash 2 

At this time in 1915 four documents of deeds giving up homestead right of these 
forty (40) acres was recorded (Rock County, Waiver of Homestead Rights, July 
1915). This writer was able to find that the home located at 306 Victory Street was 
built around 1929; documentation is only an approximate date according to 
building style of this writer’s home. Information on the actual builder of this 
writer’s home, was unattainable due to no actual documentation was available in 
any records here in Rockford, IL (Winnebago County, Assessments Office, March 

In a personal interview with Dick Van Brocklin, he stated to this writer that the 
history of this home’s builder was an unknown man who was at one time an owner 
(Van Brocklin, Personal Interview.). Dick Van Brocklin is the son of Anna Van 
Brocklin, who purchased and owned the home in October 1979 (Winnebago County, 
Warrenty Deed, 1979).This writer can only make a hypothesis about who the actual 
builder was in accordance to the owners of the land at this time in 1929. Information 
from warranty deeds states that in 1929, the owner of this lot eighty- three (83) 
which is the lot that this house currently and previously sits on was Florence Wilson 
and documentation verifying lot eighty- three (83) was sold to Robert Frank and 
wife in 1932(Winnebago County, Warranty Deed, June 1932). There is no 
documentation found to draw a conclusion of which of these two owners, at this time 
would have built the home. This writer’s conclusion is that Robert Frank and wile 
purchased lot eighty-three (83) from Florence Wilson on contract in 1929 and 
fulfilled this contract in 1932 and that Robert Frank built the home. 


... • ' • ' ■ .. 

Cash 3 

Throughout the years, lot eighty-two (82) was sold and purchased separately 
eleven different times, lot eighty-four was sold and purchased two times, and lot 
eighty-three (83) was sold and purchased once. In 1969, lots eighty-two (82), eighty- 
three (83) and eighty-four (84) were for the first time owned by the same individual 
named Gertrude Frank and was considered all of one property code from that time 
to present day ( Winnebago County, Warranty Deed, January 1969). 

Since 1969, there have been three owners that have purchased and sold all three 
lots including the home on lot eighty-three (83). 

This writer purchased this property in the summer of 1990, on contract from 
Anna Van Brocklin, and the contract was fulfilled in May of 1993 by Josie Sims 
(Winnebago County, Warranty Deed, May 1993). 

In the summer of 1990 when Dale and Josie Sims purchased the home located at 
306 Victory Street, on contract for $21,900, the house had been condemned and was 
unlivable. The house needed new plumbing, and walls needed to be replaced, the 
house was full of old dirty remains from other families. It took the Sims nine months 
to get the house livable again. During these nine months of remodeling, many 
unusual events took place. 

Josie first encountered the ghost, when she was working on the home and she 
could smell a stinky person, and then she saw the old man standing in the basement. 
He had a long coat on and a big farmer’s hat. She was scared and left the home, but 
returned later that night. When the Sims purchased the home they were unaware 
that it came with a ghost. Every time any work was done he would appear. 

Cash 4 

The Sims think that it was a man from the past, named Robert Frank and he was 
the one who had built the home many years ago. They think that he just wants to see 
what is being done to his home. 

In September of 1991, Dale and Josie Sims divorced, and Josie Sims and her two 
children were awarded the property and home at 306 Victory Street. Josie always 
had big plans for this home. When the home was first purchased in 1990, the 
exterior was much deteriorated and was white. In 1994 the exterior got a face lift 
and now has tan siding. In 1994, a 20 x 10 foot patio deck was also added to the 
south side of the home. View of the home’s updates can be seen in the included 
photographs (306 Victory St. Josie Cash, 1995). In 1995 Josie took out a $20,000 
loan and made the attic into a bedroom, and also built a second bathroom in this 
part of the home. This room was built for her son, so the two children would no 
longer have to share a bedroom. This process of the building of the bathroom and 
the bedroom took six months to complete. 

In 1996, Josie Sims remarried and became Josie Cash. The work on the home 
continued with the total remolding of a room off the kitchen. This room had 
windows taken out, and walls removed and now it is a computer room. Also new 
flooring was put in this room and the kitchen and now currently has sky blue 
ceramic tile in both rooms. The dining room of the home was also remodeled, 
received new black ceramic floor tiles and the woodwork was sanded down and 
stained. In 1997, the living room and the master bedroom of the home received new 


Cash 5 

The bathroom was totally remodeled, and black and white ceramic tiles were put in 
on the walls and floor of the bathroom. In 1998, all new electrical wiring was 
replaced throughout the home and plumbing as well. In 2002, the yard of the 
property was completely landscaped, and many colorful flowering shrubs and 
flowering bushes were planted. Also 800 tan blocks were placed around the home 
for a garden effect. In 2003, a 27 round pool was installed on the south side of the 
home, next to the patio deck on lot eighty-four (84). 

Through all of these changes to the property and to the home many neighbors 
took notice. Many neighbors have made comments on how all these improvements 
to the property have improved the neighborhood compared to how it looked many 
of years ago. 

Tammy Hall is a neighbor and lives at 210 Woodrow, located one block over 
from Victory St. She has lived in the neighborhood for thirty-two years, and 
remembers how the home looked many years ago. She stated that “I use to baby-sit 
in the home when I was young”. She remembers what the property and the home 
looked like years ago. She told this writer that the home use to be white and that the 
yard was very plain. She also told this writer about a young woman that had died in 
the bathroom of the home in 1986. She was a friend of the woman’s family. This 
woman’s name was Carla Hopkins and she died of an overdose of drugs. This writer 
was unable to find actual documentation on Mrs. Hopkin’s death. Mrs. Hall told 
this writer that the home is a great attribute to the neighborhood (Hall, Personal 


Cash 6 

Bob Marlow is a neighbor who has lived at 228 Victory Street for fifty years and 
his home is located next to 306 Victory Street on the south side of this property. He 
contributed to this writer’s information gathering by remembering the way the 
property looked many years ago, and the people who had lived in and owned the 
property and the home. He told this writer about the woman who had died in the 
home. He stated the house was yellow and then white with black trim. He told about 
an old outhouse behind the garage. He told about an old chicken coop located in the 
back of the yard, and remembers many chickens running through the yard. He 
remembers the owners in this order before this writer, as being Van Brocklin, 
Allmans and the Franks. He told this writer that Judith Allman, was the Daughter 
of the Franks but he was not sure if the Franks built the house or not (Marlow, 
Personal Interview). 

This writer, also known as Josie Cash, the owner of the property and home 
located at 306 Victory Street, she has made many changes through the years to this 
home, and the process is still continuing today. She is still improving and making 
her home into a dream home with the blue print in her head, and some day it will be 
finished. Her children continue to go through the process with her, and some day 
this home will be theirs. Josie has current plans to remodel her bathroom for the 
second time, and move doorways and totally replace the whole bathroom. She also 
wants to add a deck wrapping around the pool. 

Cash 7 

Her children will take with them in life all of their memories of the home they grew 
up in, and carry this to their children some day. They will also carry the memories 
and tell of the ghost who lives with them. 

The ghost of the man who lives with them is sure to stay, and he does not want all 
of us to leave. Our family believes that our ghost at Victory ST. wants us to stay, 
because we have put the house up for sale several times before, and only bad things 
have happened to all of us. He knows we will take the care of his home, which he 
built many years ago. 







v; : 







Josie Cash 

English 103 Section RRM 
8 February 2005 

Cash 1 

Works Cited 

306 Victory ST. Josie Cash, 2005. 

Hall, Tammy, Personal Interview, 6 February 2005. 

Marlow, Bob. Personal Interview, 26 March 2005. 

Richardson, Gloria. Personal Interview, 7 February 2005 

Rock County, Waiver of Homestead Rights , of Forty acres located south West 
Quarter % and % of the North West Quarter of section (32), Township Twenty- 
Nine (29), Range Eleven (11), East of the Forth Principle Meridian, on July, 

Sims, Dale, Personal Interview, 25 March 2005. 

Van Brocklin, David, Personal Interview, 9 February 2005. 

Winnebago County, Parcel Information Report, 11 March 2005. 

Winnebago County (Warranty Deed , Forty acres (40) 

Located South West Quarter % and % of the North West Quarter of section (32), 
Township Twenty-Nine (29), Range Eleven (11), East of the Forth Principle 
Meridian, on July, 1915) 

Winnebago County, Warranty Deed, Lot 82, of Lincoln Park 2nd Subdivision, 
August, 1927. 

Winnebago County, Warranty Deed , Lot 83, of Lincoln Park 2nd Subdivision, 













June, 1932. 

Cash 2 

Winnebago County, Warranty Deed , Lots 82, 83, 84, of Lincoln Park Subdivision, 
January 10, 1969. 

Winnebago County, Warranty Deed , Lots 82, 83, 84 of Lincoln Park 2 nd 
Subdivision, October, 1979. 

Winnebago County, Warranty Deed , Lots 82, 83, 84, of Lincoln Park 2 nd 
Subdivision, May, 1993. 

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23 1843, Thatcher Blake 
. -d 00 \c page 19» 4k a 4 on . g go acres. 

2 ' « appear, ' 

tered E. % »• A - „„ lg43 , Thatcher Blake 




19, that on January a 

It appears ^ ^ 

tered W. V2 

— 2 — 

4 . 

The United States 
of America 
By the President, 
James K. Polk, 

By J. Knox Walker 


Thatcher Blake. 


Pre-emption Certificate No. 14915. 

Dated April 1, 1845. 

Filed May 10, 1913. 

Recorded in Book 235 of Deeds, page 123. 

Recites*that saidGrantee has deposited in the General Land Of- 
fice of the United States, a certificate of the Register of the 
Land Office at Dixon whereby it appears that full payment has 
been made by the said grantee according to the provisions of 
the Act of Congress of April 24, 1820, entitled “An Act making 
further provision for the sale of the Public Lands,” for the North West *4 of Section 
20 in Township 44 of Range 1 East in the District of Land subject to sale at Dixon, Illi- 
nois, containing 160 acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said lands 
returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, which said tract has 
been purchased by the said grantee. In consideration of the premises etc., grants the 
said tract above described. Endorsed: Recorded Vol. 26, page 134. E. 

S. H. Laughlin, 

Recorder of the General Land Office. 

(Official Seal) 


Warranty Deed. 

Dated January 9, 1860. 

Filed January 14, 1860. 

Recorded in Book 49 of Deeds, page 126. 

Consideration $2800.00. 

Conveys all that part of the North West 14 of Section 20 in 
Township 44 North of Range 1 East of the 3rd P. M. lying 
North of the County road running across said section, con- 
taining 59 acres, more or less, excepting a certain piece or tract of land in the Southeast 
corner of the tract aforesaid, 12 rods North and South and 10 rods East and West, 
according to the tenor of a certain indenture made on November 1, 1856 by the party 
of the first part, William Jobes, Riley Hall and William Fowler, School Directors of School 
District Number Six (6) in the Town of Rockford, and the party of the first part hereby 
sells, assigns and conveys unto the party of the second part and his assigns all the rights 
and powers thereon reserved to him to cause the aforesaid School Directors or their suc- 
cessors in office to build and keep in repair a , fence as described in the indenture 

Acknowledged by Grantors January 13, 1860. 

6 . 

Thatcher Blake 
and Mary Jane, 
his wife, 


John Backus. 

The following is an 
deed last noted, to- wit: 
Thatcher Blake, 

Mary Jane Blake, 
and William Jobes, 

Riley Hall and William 
Fowler, School 
Directors of School 
District No. 6 
in town of Rockford 

William Fowler, 

William Jobes & 

Riley Hall & to their 
successors in office. 

Abstract of the Lease to William Fowler et al referred to in 

Dated November 1, 1856. 

Filed January 14, 1860. 

Recorded in Book 50 of Deeds, page 443. 

Thatcher Blake and Mary Blake, his wife and William Fowler, 
WilliamJobes and Riley Hall, School Directors of School District 
number six in theTown of Rockford, for the sum of $30. 00, grant, 
lease and demise unto said Lessees the following tracts or 
parcels of land: Commencing where the centre of the County 
Road crosses the line between the North West and the North 
East quarter of Section 20, Township 44 of Range 1 East; 
thence North on the 1/2 section line 12 rods; thence West 10 
rods ; thence South to the centre of said County Road ; thence 
to the place of beginning. To have and to hold the above 
mentioned and described premises unto the Lessees and their 
successors in office from date hereof for and during all time 




Anthony Lofton 
English 103 Scott Fisher 
April 23, 2005 

Concord Commons 


Concord Commons 

Concord Commons is a 216-unit housing project located at 3552 Elm Street on 
Rockford’s West side. The housing complex is made up of twelve three story buildings 
that are enclosed by a six foot fence. There is currently a special at Concord Commons of 
one month free rent which includes free heat, free gas, free water, all appliances, 
carpeting, canlevision available, and new tenant rewards (Jordan). “People just don’t 
move in,” is what Lewis Jordan, Executive Director of the Rockford Housing Authority 
said. Even though Concord Commons has these special offers, getting new tenants is a 
problem and has been since the early beginnings of Concord Common’s existence. 

Concord Commons was built for 3.9 million dollars in the late ‘60 s by private 
investors from a Chicago based company named Hartford Construction (Greenberg). The 
housing complex was built to provide housing for middle income families. Hartford 
Construction decided to build the units because several groups in 1968 pushed for a big 
need in the city of Rockford for middle income housing (“Rental preview made at 
project”). In 1975 the complex faced its first problems when the developers of the 
complex defaulted on a federally insured mortgage placing ownership on HUD also 
known as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD took over in 
1977 (Greenberg). The housing complex was labeled “gang- ravaged” in the early ‘70 s 
at the time Hartford made withdrawal from Concord (Greenberg, “Concord Commons 
project”). This is ironic because these are problems Concord still faces to this day. 

After HUD took over ownership of the project they put about one million dollars 
into the housing project in renovation efforts to make the project marketable (“Concord at 
a Glance”). In the mid ’70 s HUD decided emergency action was needed to prevent 



Concord from being empty. In March of 1978 HUD’s Contracting Officer Evelyn Clark 
estimated $100,000 was needed in order to get things moving. A year later this number 
jumped to $726,449 as the contract was awarded and the job was completed. There was 
only 14 out of the 80 rehabilitated units occupied and three of the buildings done under 
the contract were vacant for months. The housing complex had early problems with 
filling all the units even after the first renovations were done. All the buildings were 
ready for occupancy. The only thing missing was major appliances which had been 
purchased (Greenberg, “Concord Commons Still”). 

There was a ban imposed at Concord until rehabilitation was completed and 
marketing was targeted to a wide variety of racial and economical mix. John Pitcher, 
chief of multi-family dispositions at HUD said, “We want this to appeal to middle and 
moderate income whites and blacks” (Greenberg, “Concord Commons Still”). The focus 
was to diversify the housing project so it wasn’t just another housing project that housed 
poor minorities. This focus was working to an extent because a resident from 1979 to 
1982 named Marilyn Gillespie recalled, “Most people who lived out there worked but 
there were a lot of empty apartments.” The housing project had the same problem of 
filling up the complex. “The intent is to make this a real quality housing project, so we 
don’t have the problems of the past. We don’t want to fill it up immediately. The biggest 
problem is marketing it, said Pitcher (Greenberg, “Concord Commons Still”). 

This was the biggest problem and still is a problem at Concord Commons. There 
currently isn’t a mix income out at Concord Commons. “A lot of poor people without 
skills and opportunity. We need more working families out there,” said Jordan. The 


marketing strategy to the middle income families seems to have never worked out for 
Concord Commons. 

In June of 1978 a contract was given to Jim Pickens Construction Inc. at a price of 
$395,000. In the end, the job cost $726,449 for the reason of on-site vandalism and theft 
which slowed down production and made cost higher. For example doors would be 
kicked in, rooms would be burned, and sinks would be tom off walls (Greenberg, 
“Concord Commons Still”). These type of things take place at the housing complex to 
this day. In the author’s personal experience scenery of graffiti is painted on the sides of 
the apartment buildings and the author actually witnessed some tenants knock out a 
window, climb into an apartment building and began to steal someone else’s belongings 
(Lofton). Pickens made a profit of less than ten percent on the job. After the Pickens 
contract, HUD paid another $236,000 to other contractors for more work on the units 
(Greenberg, “Concord Commons Still”). HUD was dishing out a lot of money to different 
contractors for rehab work at Concord Commons. 

The Rockford Housing Authority Board of Commissioners voted to purchase 
Concord Commons in 1981 from the federal government for an estimated $1.29 million. 
The Executive Director at the time Thomas McNeely who planned to renovate the 216- 
unit complex with federal funds and then market it to low, moderate and middle income 
families as a racially intergrated housing development. The rehabilitation was to be 
completed by 1982 with finished apartments available by fall of 1980. The completed 
apartments were to include carpeted floors, air conditioned units, and enclosed outside 
staircases. The maximum rent was to range from $230 per month for two bedrooms to 
$255 per month for three bedroom apartments (Greengerg “Concord Commons Still”). 


The renovation efforts by the RHA began to be questioned by the board members 
of the Rockford Housing Development Corporation. The board wanted more control over 
the renovations of Concord Commons. The reason for this was the $2.1 million 
renovations of Concord that included replacing of equipment and work already done by 
HUD two years ago at $1 million. For example, cabinets, refrigerators, and ranges never 
before been used by tenants were being replaced by new ones. Board members 
questioned McNeely’s efforts as a waste. McNeely responded with that the changes in the 
appliances were necessary in marketing the apartments and that the items put in by HUD 
were rusted and had been damaged (Teinowitz). The acts of the RHA were backed by 
their claim that they were merely trying to market the complex which was the intent of 
the previous owners of Concord Commons who saw little to no success on there efforts. 

The General Accounting Office, also known as the GAO, investigated Concord’s 
latest renovations by the RHA that was paid for with the $2.1 million federally insured 
loan. The GAO reported that the repairs were not essential and did not make the project a 
decent sanitary, place to live (Bland). This notion of Concord not being a safe place to 
live is something that is still a plague on the complex. Concord Commons reffered to 
police as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods. The RHA wanted three new police 
officers patrolling the housing complex. Jeff Morris, Assistant Deputy Chief of Rockford 
Police said Concord Commons has long history of problems. “We definitely get a lot of 
calls to go out there” (“RHA trying for more Concord Police” IB) The investigators of 
the GAO also stated plans for renovations were copied verbatim from pland made three 
years earlier. The GAO stated two major errors by HUD 1. HUD approved a 1981 
renovation project and didn’t realize hoe much work had been done in 1979 when HUD 


put $1 million into project. 2. HUD only went to damaged apartments before approving 
the 1981 project, so this allowed them to ignore many apartments that were all right or 
needed little repair (Bland). This was a costly mistake and another problem Concord 
Commons faced. 

The problems at Concord got so out of hand the RHA had seek out other sources 
to try and secure the housing complex. RHA received $551,790 to improve Concord 
: $187,500: Hire three police officers 
: $52,000: Built in overtime hours to start program 
: $236,000: Construction of fence to separate Champion Park 
: $1 1,000: Installation of lock system 
: $8,000: Eight new light fixtures 

: $57,000: Six wireless security cameras, speed bumps and other physical 
improvements. The security fence was added to stop drug dealers from moving between 
Concord Commons and Champion Park which made it difficult for police to go after 
suspects (“Feds Give Money for RHA Security”). 

The short term outlook for Concord, despite its present and negative past, does 
have a positive outlook that the RHA has placed there. Concord has a partnership with 
NIU that teaches basic life skills. The Rockford School District works with parents with 
young babies and teaches them parenting skills, and Cease Fire campaign is out there 
which is an organization that advocates non-violence alternatives to resolute conflicts. 
Resident Counsels are important people who live there who talk to neighbors to uplift 
each other. There is also a resident training program that hires part-time employees who 
live at Concord to pick up trash and clean up hallways (Jordan). The RHA is definetly 


trying to get things done to try and change the current povem stricken environment at 
Concord and make positive changes. The RHA does not see Concord in its long term 
plans. They are trying to get vouchers to move people out of Concord and into better 
housing. “When you look at long term repair, concentration of poverty, and lack of basic 
needs Concord is not placed strategically, said Jordan. Concord is in the middle of 
nowhere. Ironically before Concord Commons was built there stood a cornfield. 
“Concord is an old building that needs a lot repairs that would take $6 million in a 20- 
year span to fix completely,” said Jordan. Another problenm is the lack of money 
Concord produces. “Concord has little funding because people don’t move in,” said 
Jordan. This problem stems from early beginnings of Concord due to its numerous 

Concord Commons from its early start seem to never have a chance to grow into 
its full potential from early problems with developers to gang violence. The housing 
complex never served its original purpose of being a complex for housing of the 
moderate income with a racial mix; now due to the RHA plans to tear it down, this will 
only be a dream HUD and the RHA once shared for Concord Commons. 


Works Cited 

Bland, Dorothy. “GAO Blasts Concord Project.” R.Star. 25 April. 1982. 

“Concord at a Glance.” R.Star. 25 March. 1982. 

“Feds Give Money for RHA Security .” R. Star. 1 1 March. 1995,sec. A: 1. 

Gillespie, Marilyn. Personal Interview. 10 April. 2005. 

Greengerg, Rick. “City to Buy Housing Project.” R.Star. 30 November. 1979. 
Greenberg, Rick. “Concord Commons Project Still Encoutering Problems.” R.Star. 

1 8 November. 1 979. 

Jordan, Lewis. Personal Interview. 15 April. 2005. 

Lofton, Anthony. Personal Experiences. Various dates. 

Lofton, Anthony. “Concord Commons.” Picture. 16. April.2005. 

Teinowitz, Ira. “Concord Sale of Appliances Reconsidered.” R.Star. 13.August. 1981.- 



Rhashonda Alexander 

Alexander 1 

Scott Fisher 
English 103 
10 May 2005 

Crusader Central Clinic Association 

“Crusader Central Clinic Association is a not-for-profit health care 
organization that was established in 1972 by a group of citizens, John McHugh 
and Barbara Roman that were concerned about low-income resident’s health and 
dental care”, said Linda Niemiec (Niemiec Interview). Their goal was to provide 
services that would increase the life expectancy of indigent residents that could 
not afford primary health and dental care. 

As the clinic grew it received federal grants to expand the services and 
more accessibility to residents without insurance on a sliding fee scale. Since 
1972 Crusader Clinic now has 4 locations not only in Winnebago County, but 
Stephenson and Boone County. In addition, Crusader Clinic works throughout 
the community to provide quality affordable health and dental care at other 
locations throughout Winnebago County and has various activities throughout the 
year to inform the community of the low-cost and free services they provide. 

Alexander 2 

The new locations are: Freeport, which opened in March 2004, and has 
medical, dental and podiatry services, including care managers who provide 
education on various diseases, including diabetes. In addition, Belvidere opened 
in June 2004 and will be expanding dental services in May 2005 with the same 
services that Freeport has. The clinic has grown in staff by 100 since the 
opening of the new locations to keep up with the growing need of services 
throughout the communities along with new and advanced technology. The 
addresses of the sites are: 1200 West State Street; Rockford, IL; 1100 Broadway 
Street; Rockford, IL; 1204 Logan Avenue; Belvidere, IL; and 10 W. Linden; 
Freeport, IL. 

The clinic on the West State Street has a lot of historical meaning and was 
an original all girls Catholic High School from 1929 through 1970. The convent 
was located directly facing West State Street. It was donated in 1972 to open the 
first community care clinic, which started out with one physician and one dentist 
(Niemiec Interview). 

Today, this facility has had major facility improvements. The convent was 
demolished in 2002 and replaced with the beautiful parklike setting called the 
Muldoon Grove. Volunteers and community leaders organized the Muldoon 
Grove. “The Muldoon Grove sign was made by a piece of granite from the 
original Muldoon High School’s former convent” (Muldoon Grove”), which is a 
masterpiece of history that will continue to be apart of our community indefinitely. 

<• . ■ 

Alexander 3 

The clinic has grown in a number of ways by expanding to 1100 Broadway 
Street in 1997, which provides dental, medical, women’s health services and 
specialty providers to maintain the growing population of the underserved 
residents. In addition, it provides services to other communities that are easily 
accessible to the uninsured residents and insured, while maintaining a healthy 
community and over all life expectancy. The clinic currently sees one thousand 
new patients a month and served forty thousand patients in 2004. A 30% 
increase from 2004. The increase is based on the demanding quality services 
they provide and will continue to grow year by year. 

Crusader Clinic has 13 board of directors that oversee the operation of the 
organization. The mission of Crusader Central Clinic Association serves the 
Rock River Valley area with quality primary health care for all people in need with 
dedicated employees mission focused. 

The clinic is supported by the Crusader Clinic Health Foundation that is a 
not-for-profit corporation organized in 1985 to support the growth and 
development of Crusader Central Clinic Association. A link on the website 
states, “The Health Foundation mission is to promote, support, develop, 
encourage, and accept funds to assist the mission of Crusader” (“Crusader 
Health Foundation”). A board of directors oversees the foundation that consists 
of 19 volunteer leaders in the community that oversees the fundraising of 
Crusader Central Clinic Association. 

Alexander 4 

The clinic offers the following services at all locations: Chronic Disease 
Management, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, 
Podiatry, Pain Management, Dental, Optical, Pharmacy Memory Diagnostic 
Center, Health Education and Supportive Services. 

“A program that has impacted the general population of our community is 
The Healthcare for the Homeless Program, which was established in 1988 and 
funded by Steward B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. It provides 
healthcare, substance abuse and mental health referrals, assistance with 
housing options and entitlement services to the homeless population at other 
agencies such as, Shelter Care Ministries, Jubilee Center, Janet Wattles, WAVE, 
Trinity House” (Crusader Clinic Homeless Pamphlet) to name a few. There are 
trained professional case mangers, case workers, physicians, dentists, RN’s and 
LPN’s, drug and alcohol counselors that make medical and dental care easily 
accessible and make the homeless patients aware of their health care needs. 

The staff visits various sites daily to make sure these services are accessible to 
the patients. The Medical Director, Dr. Choucair quotes in a past article, “All they 
need is an ear for them to be heard and that puts a smile on their face”. The 
impact of this program has been tremendous and is well known to residents who 
depend on this program and all the others programs that the clinic offers. 

Alexander 5 

Another program that was started is the Living with HIV program, started 
in 1991 through the Ryan White Care Act Funds. Shelton Kay is the HIV 
Manager who manages the program and has been employed for eleven years 
with the clinic. Kay says, “Crusader Clinic Living with HIV Program serves all 
people in the area infected by HIV/AIDS. The most affected population would be 
the poor and uninsured. Our program is able to help them access medical care 
and medications at the same level they would if they had health insurance. The 
growing population of residents living with HIV/AIDS has increased locally and 
nationally shown in minorities, women and young adults. Crusade has 
developed relationships with other community agencies to inform them of what 
we have to offer to residents living with this horrific disease. Basic training has 
been offered on HIV/AIDS to help decrease the fear and stigma of dealing with 
someone who is HIV positive. This program is fortunate to be housed in a 
community clinic setting so that many of other services we offer can coincide and 
are easily accessible (Pharmacy, Dental, Medical, Podiatry and Psychiatry)”. 

In a personal interview with Kevin Daniels, Care Manager for the Division 
of Quality he states, “The newly redefined Division of Clinical Quality at Crusader 
Clinic is responsible for the implementation as well as compliance with current 
treatment trends. The Division of Clinical Quality covers the areas of chronic 
diseases and focuses on improvement in the overall health in individuals afflicted 

Alexander 6 

with those diseases. Those Diseases include Diabetes, Congestive Heart 
Failure, Obesity, Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and 
Depression. Emphasis for improvement in these disease areas focuses on the 
areas of education, prevention through behavioral modification, self-monitoring 
and compliance with treatment regimens as recommended by their medical 
provider. Education can take place in either a classroom setting, or one-on-one 
forum. Quality assurance is performed by medical charts audits and patient 
feedback information gathering tools”. It is another area where the clinic is 
revamping departments to better serve the patients. 

With the growth and expanding the clinic also has kept up with the 
technology and has highly trained employees to keep up with the demand of the 
growth. They have introduced a new system for the optical department on April 
18, 2005 to accommodate the patients, called same day/next day optical service 
for routine eye exams, which will give patients an appointment the same day, 
unless they are filled up for the day. In addition, a new service for medical 
services, called advanced access, will give the patient an appointment the same 
day they call. These are just two examples on how Crusader Clinic is patient 
driven and always look’s for ways to improve easily accessible services. 

Rhashonda has been a patient of the clinic for about 15 years and so has 
her family and would recommend the clinic as the first choice for quality 
affordable health care for the area. She has also been an employee of the clinic 
since July 23, 2003 in the Human Resources Department, as the Human 


Alexander 7 

Resources Administrative Assistant and recently promoted to the Human 
Resources Generalist. She plays a role in the hiring, orientating the staff on 
policies and producers, handling benefits, employment verifications, and general 
clerical duties to name a few. The writer has seen Crusader Clinic’s growth in 
the services they provide, facility improvements to the West State Street pods, 
dental waiting area, and over all look of all the locations, while growing in other 
communities. With the guidance of the two board of directors and dedicated 
employees Crusader Central Clinic Association will continue to see growth with 
the support of the community. A capital campaign is scheduled for 2005 that the 
Health Foundation is preparing to raise funds to continue the expanding and 
overall facility improvements that will help achieve upcoming goals while maintain 
quality affordable health care for all people in need. 

One may access the services by calling 490-1600 or check out the website at . 

Alexander 8 

Works Cited 

Crusader Clinic, Rockford. 17 March. 2005. History of Crusader Clinic. 

Crusader Clinic. Mission Statement for the Homeless Program. Pamphlet, 

Crusader Clinic, Rockford. 17 March. 2005. “Muldoon Grove Community 
Garden”, . 

Daniels, Kevin. Personal Interview. 29 March 2005. 

Kay, Shelton. Personal Interview. 5 April 2005. 

Niemiec, Linda. Personal Interview. 25 March 2005. 

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James E. Sparrowgrove 



Statue in Loves Park IL photo by James Sparrowgrove 

Disabled American Veterans 

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) are the lifeblood of the United 
States. They kept American free from tyranny and oppression. These include 
the heros who never returned. Treaties are signed and the battles of a nation 
end, but the personal battles of those disabled in war only begins when the 
guns fall silent. These men and women must struggle to regain health, 
reshape lives shattered by disability, learn new trades or professions and 
rejoin the civilian world. The roots of the DAV can be traced back to the 
mid 1600s (“Building Better Lives for Disabled Americans”). 




The Department of Veteran Affairs in the United States has the most 
comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. 
The benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the pilgrims of 
Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The pilgrims passed 
a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. 

The Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the 
Revolutionary War by providing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. In 
1811, the Federal Government authorized the first domiciliary and medical 
facility for veterans. After the Civil War, many state veteran’s homes were 
established. Congress established a new system of veteran’s benefits when 
the United States entered World War I in 1917. Included were programs for 
disability compensation, insurance for service persons and veterans and 
vocational rehabilitation for the disabled. 

By 1920, the various benefits were administered by three different 
federal agencies: the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior 
Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. The 
establishment of the Veterans Administration (VA) came in 1930, when 
Congress authorized the president to consolidate and coordinate government 
activities affecting war veterans. 



In 1973, the Veterans Administration assumed another major 
responsibility when the National Cemetery System was transferred to the 
VA from the Department of the Army. This excludes Arlington National 
Cemetery, which is still run by the US Army. On March 15, 1989 the 
Department of Veteran Affaires was established as a cabinet-level position. 
President Bush hailed the creation of the new Department by saying, “There 
is only one place for veterans of America, in the Cabinet Room, at the table 
with the President of the United States of America” (VA history). 

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is responsible for providing 
federal benefits to veterans and their dependants. Of the 26 million veterans 
currently alive, nearly three-quarters served during a war or an official 
period of conflict. Medical care is perhaps the most visible of all VA 
benefits and services. From 54 hospitals in 1930, VA’s health care system 
has grown to 163 hospitals, with at least one in each of the 48 contiguous 
states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The VA operates more 
than 850 ambulatory care and community-based outpatients clinics, 137 
nursing homes, 43 domiciliary and 73 comprehensive home-care programs. 
VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgery, and 
rehabilitative care (VA Fact Sheets). 


Here in Rockford, Illinois, the local Disabled American Veterans is 
headquartered at Memorial Hall. Located at 215 N. Main. Butch North, the 
local commander, volunteers his time Monday through Friday. The local 
office coordinates the pickup of veterans in Winnebago County who have 
appointments at the local clinics or Madison, Wisconsin Hospital. They 
handle all transportation of Winnebago County veterans. 

Memorial Hall Photo taken by James Sparrowgrove March 2005 



The local clinic is located at 4940 E. State St., next to Rockford 
Business College. There are several services that are provided here. The 
pharmacy is located at the east end along with physical therapy and dieting 
counseling. The west entrance is the main health care facilities where 
registered nurses and doctors see veterans. 

Services provided are primary care to approximately 7000 veterans, 
mostly from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Podiatry and a specialist in GI are 
here once a week. Daily services provided are social worker, mental health 
providers, drug & alcohol abuse counseling, and two physical therapists. The 
clinic does lab work on approximately 200 patients a day (Linda Parish). 

Rockford Clinic Photo by, James Sparrowgrove April 2005 

Rockford Clinic Photo by James Sparrowgrove April 2005 

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William S. Middelton 
Memorial VA Medical 
Center 2500 Overlook 
Terrace Madison, WI 

(Photo from Madison VA Medical Center) 

The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, 
Wisconsin is a highly affiliated acute care facility providing comprehensive 
care in medicine, surgery, neurology, and psychiatry. Approximately 1 1 00 


professional, administrative, and support personnel provide the widest range 
of services to the more than 30,000 veterans treated annually, either as 
inpatients or outpatients. The hospital is affiliated with the University of 
Wisconsin's Medical School and Hospital, boasting affiliations and sharing 
agreements that are extremely active. The two institutions share many 
resources, including nuclear medicine, angiography’s, autopsy, and radiation 
therapy programs (VA Great Lake health care system William S. 


This writer’s personal experience with the VA health care has been 
greatly appreciated. Without this service he could not afford the medical 
care that he has received to date. His first experience with the VA started in 
the mid to late 1980s, at the University of Illinois College of Medicine 
located on North Prospect St. 

Illinois Collage of Medicine Photo by, James Sparrowgrove April 2005 


At that time, one person, in a small room, named Jackie, made all 
appointments for veterans that needed medical care. The doctors treated 
veterans before graduating and acquiring their own practice. During this 
time, North Chicago was the main hospital used for this care. From there 
the clinic moved to East State Street in 1995, where care could be given to 
many more veterans that were requiring medical attention. The plan at the 
Rockford Clinic is to acquire the entire building and remodel it to suit the 
need of veterans, i.e. not leaving the building to go to the pharmacy or 
physical therapy. Now the Rockford area will use the Madison VA Hospital 
(See map below). 

The local clinic is associated with the regional office in Chicago, IL, 
which controls the Great Lakes facilities. This care system is the Veterans 
Integrated Service Network 12 (VISN12) and spans four states; Illinois, 
Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Illinois has fourteen clinics, Indiana one, 
Michigan five, and Wisconsin has thirteen. 



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(Great Lakes health care system VISN 12) 


The VA Great Lakes Health Care System is a group of seven VA 
medical centers and over thirty outpatient clinics. Is dedicated to providing a 
comprehensive health care package packaged to America’s veterans. The 
Great Lakes health care system provides the full range of health care 
services from prevention through cardiac and organ transplant surgery 
(VA Great Lakes Health Care System Home Page). 

Rockford has produced several veterans who have attained the rank of 
General, including General Fred J. Ascani, who graduated from Rockford 
High School in 1935, General Laurence Kuter who graduated from Rockford 
High School in 1923, Brigadier General Lewis Stocton who graduated from 
Rockford High School in 1935, and Lieutenant General James E. Cartwrite 
who graduated from Auburn High School and now is in charge of the area 

(“Rockford Native New Chief of Nuke Force”). 

The DAV office at Memorial Hall is affiliated with several 
organizations such as the American Legion, Viet Now, and many others in 


Winnebago County. Together they run fundraisers to help veterans and their 
families in many ways such as paying bills and medical transportation. The 
government requires the local DAV to pay for the lease of the vans, in turn 
the government pays for the gas and insurance. The DAV gives out a college 
scholarship to high school students of approximately $1000. This year the 
ceremony will be held at Auburn High School in April of 2005. These 
students must have a grandparent, uncle, aunt, parent, or sibling who can 
show proof of a DD214 that is given at the end of service to quality for the 
scholarship. This form is needed for medical services and burial in a military 
cemetery (Butch North). 

The Seal of the Department of Veteran Affairs dates back to 1989 
when the then-veterans Administration, an independent agency of the 
Federal government, was made the Department of Veterans Affairs, a 
Cabinet member agency by Congress. This brought many changes to the 
VA, including a new VA seal. This design was 
submitted by David Gregory. The five stars 
represent Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and 
Coast Guard. The Eagle holds the cord to 
perpetuate the memory of all slain Americans and 


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their sacrifices. The flags represent the span of America’s history from 1 3 
colonies to present 50 states. The golden cord symbolizes those who have 
fallen in defense of this country (VA kids teachers page). 

Statue At Loves Park photo IL by James Sparrowgrove 


Works Cited 

About VA VA History 13 February 2005 3 March 2004. va/page.cfm?pg=14 
Department of Veterans Affairs VA Fact Sheets 15 February 2005 
7 February 2005 
Disabled American Veterans “ Building Better Lives for Disable Americans” 
1 0-February-2005. program print.html 
Disabled American Veterans home page Background information on the 
Disabled American veterans 2- 1 0-2005 . 

Memorial Hall personal photo by the Author March 2005. 

North, Butch. Personal Interview Memorial Hall DAV Office Rockford IL 
2 April 2005. 

Parish, Linda. Personal Interview Rockford Clinic Rockford IL 1 1 April 




Rockford Clinic from parking lot east end personal photos by the author 
March 2005. 

Rockford Clinic from parking lot west end personal photos by the author 
March 2005. 

“Rockford Native New Chief of Nuke Force” Rockford Register Star 17 July 

Statue at Loves Park personal photo by Author. 

VA Facts sheet Facts about Department of Veteran Affairs 13 February 
2005 April 2004 http://www. 1 ■ 
VA Great Lakes Health Care System home page 4 February 2005. 

28 January 2005 

VA Great Lakes Health Care System “William S. Middleton Medical 
Center” 4 February 2005 3 March 2005. 

VA Great Lakes Health Care System “VISN 12” 4 February 2005. 

3 March 2005 

VA KIDS Teachers’ Page: About VA 15 February 2005. dtl.asp 

Victory Statue at Memorial Hall personal photo by Author April 2005. 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum 


Maria B. Martinez 


The Ethnic Heritage Museum 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is a special place for the Berumen family, 
because there are a lot of memories in the house, from 1972 when the Berumen family 
first came from Mexico to live in the Unites States of America. 

One cold day in February 1972, they arrived at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Maria 
Berumen, who came from Mexico, was happy to see her father and her brother, because 
she had not seen them in two years. It was a mix of emotions because she never wanted 
to come to the United States. 

She will never forget how her father looked. He was older and he did not 
look healthy. He had a surgery before they came to the Unites States. Maria arrived at 
her first home, at 1129 S. Main St. Her five sisters, her four brothers, Herminia her 
mother and Jose her father lived here together. 

Her father had a little Mexican store. It was a one-room addition to a restroom 
made of cement blocks connected to the house between the house they lived in and the 
other house that was next to theirs, connected with a stairs. It had a big window and a 
door of all glass. 

Her sisters and brother helped her dad in the store. Her father started teaching 
them how to count and use the register. In about two or three days they were all in 
school. Maria remembers she loved to be in the home when spring came. All the 
Berumens played in the front yard, sat on the front porch or in the front of the store to 

look outside. 


- 2 - 

Jose rented the home from Hibert A. Bowden. Maria’s father had lived there since 
1971, when he took over the store. Then he saw the need to expand the store and bought 
the 901 Cunningham St. building and home. In 1976 the Berumens moved to 901 
Cunningham St. and had the business for 17 years. Jose Berumen sold the business in 

Memories came back when Maria’s father was nominating father of the year for 
the 1994 Hispanic community. They went back to see the house, now a museum. It 
looked different because there was a house on the right side, and the addition of the store 
was no longer there. There was a garden instead of the other home. They walked through 
the house and started to figure out where the living room, the kitchen, and bedrooms used 

to be. It looked different because they opened doors and tore down walls 
into the Museum. 

Mr. Menroy Mill, the founder of The Ethnic Heritage Museum, had a passion for 
Southwest Rockford. He began working as a pharmacist in the 1930s, and, in the 
mid- 1940s, he opened the first of five cosmetics shops. In 1968, he bought Hodel’s Drug, 
on the comer of South Main and Morgan streets, from Oscar Hodel. Mills, though he 
lived along the Rock River north of town. [Bonne, Mark. Rockford Register Start], 

Mills sold the pharmacy in 1977 but stayed involved on the Southwest side 
because 4C He said there was a need,” Larry Mills’ son said. He knew if he didn’t do it, 
nobody else would.” Mills remained blunt, passionate, dedicated and headstrong-qualities 
that made him among the most notable champions of Rockford’s Southwest side- until 
the end. The retired pharmacist and longtime community volunteer died Wednesday 2 



2005 at Swedish American Hospital after a heart attack. He was 94 years old. [Bonne, 
Mark. Rockford Register Start], 

Background: Owned Hodel Pharmacy and Menroy B. Mills Cosmetics shops in 
Rockford; founded Ethnic Heritage Museum; served as president and director of 
Southwest Improvement Corp. and on boards of Graham-Ginestra House and the 
Rockford, Area Arts Council; Recipient of “Service Above Self’ award from Rockford 
Rotary and “Super Senior” award from the Winnebago County Council on Aging. 
Volunteered at Mendelssohn Club and ran Sunday school programs at Centennial United 
Methodist Church. [Bonne, Mark. Rockford Register Star], 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is an intimate collection of cultural artifacts. Each 
of its six rooms is dedicated to an ethnic group that settled in Southwest Rockford. 

[ Solvej, Jordahl. Rockford Register Star. Feb 3, 2005], 

The museum has been open since 1989. The Ethnic Heritage Museum is located 
in the heart of the old Water Power District. Earliest settlers established their factories 
and businesses near this convenient source of power and built their homes nearby. The 
ethnic groups involved in the Ethnic Heritage Museum represent the changing 
composition of the area from the first settlers to the present days. This historic area is 
being developed and promoted, its memory of those who first settled on the bank of 
Rock River near Kent Creek, truly the birthplace of Rockford, Illinois. [The Ethnic 
Heritage Museum. “Pulling together”]. 



'Hljj | 


The Ethnic Heritage Museum a six-room house built in 1850. Is unique in its 
blend of ethnic groups. A distinct ethnic group sponsors each room in the house: 



African-American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Hispanic. A visit to each room 
given insight into the values and traditions of each of these groups and an appreciation 
of their contribution of life in Rockford [The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling 

The African American gallery is designed for collections, research, and 
interpretative activities African Americans past and present. Included is a permanent 
mural of Lewis Lemon, a black slave who accompanied Rockford founders Germanius 
Kent and Thatcher Blake as they staked out their claim on the West Bank of the Rock 
River in 1854 ] The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”]. 

David Ruffin, Assistant Curator of the museum said that they have honored 
Mayor Box with on exhibit. Rep. Chuck Jefferson had a reception. Honored Dr. Margaret 
Burreughts the 1 st Black lady that had a museum, had award from President Carter and 
Chairman of Chicago Pride and many more [Ruffin, David. 4-7-05 Rockford LL], 

The Irish arrived in great numbers in Rockford in 1847-48 following the potato 
famine in Ireland. Theirs was the first nationality to settle in south Rockford. The 
majority settled in what was known as ‘The Patch,” an area bounded by Rockton Avenue, 
Chestnut, Cedar and Horseman streets. As their number increased they moved to the S. 
Main area. Today their descendants pepper Winnebago County in every walk of life, 
adding wit and charm, to the area [The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”]. 

Italians came from many parts of Italy, to follow the same “dream, ” 
to create a better life for themselves and their children in that Utopia that WAS and IS 
America. Though faced by many hardships, grueling labor, low pay, and much 
suffering, they persevered. Under the unifying spiritual leadership of Father Marchesano, 


- 5 - 

they established roots successfully. Now their children carry the “torch” forward in many 
fields of endeavor: fine arts, politics, industry and other fields, and at the same time, 
sharing many features of their rich cultural heritage with their new neighbors 
[The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”] 

The Lithuanian Gallery exhibits various artifacts collected from Rockford 
Lithuanians, which illustrate the old and unique Lithuanian culture, language and 
contributions to civilization. Displays of woodwork, linen, paintings, books, costumes, 
and similar items are shown. A special section for amber artifacts is set aside [Lithuania 
is known as the Land of Amber], Books, newspapers, and magazines printed in English 
and Lithuanian are available [The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”]. 

“Polish For our Freedom and Yours!” The Polish gallery testifies to the struggle 
and accomplishments of a remarkable people, whose heritage goes much farther into the 
depth of the history of the United States than the American Revolutionary War. The 
polish Gallery depicts a nation of patriots, scientists and musicians in the New, as well as 
the Old World; calling the first stick in America, not for material gains, but for civil 
liberty, which they won and first to export manufactured goods from America 
[The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”]. 

The Latino community in Rockford has been represented since the late 1910s 
by a group of Mexican families from the states of Guanajuato and Michoacan. 

Presently there are people in Rockford from: Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, 
Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, 
Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Gratefully with pride, honor and joy we 
share our cultures with our adoptive hometown through the museum 


- 6 - 

[ The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling Together”]. 

Shirley Martignoni, President of the Ethnic Heritage Museum, said that the idea to 
open a museum was Mr. Menroy Mills, more interested in the Rockford 
southside people and their ethnices. The museum bought the property from the Southwest 
Improvement Corporation of The City Of Rockford. [City of Rockford Warranty Deed 
90-26 1256], 

Shirley Martignoni said the museum is runs by volunteers of the different 
Ethnicities that donate their time to prepare the exhibits and be there went it is open, give 
tours and explain the exhibits of their own couture. She said that some of the displays are 
owned by the museum and some owned or donated by the people. She said that Governor 
Jim Edgar donate 88 items to the Ethnic Heritage Museum. 

They also have memberships for people who are interested to be a member and 
help. They have membership selection: Charter $100.00 and up. Settlers $ 50.00 and up. 
Family $25.00 and Single $ 15.00 for a year [Martignoni, Shirley interview, 22 
February, 2005 Rockford IL]. 

They have different celebrations during the year: February Black History Month 
“ Let’s Play Ball”, March Women in History month, March 20 th Palm Weaving, June 12 th 
International Music Festive with ‘Tather of the Year” presentation, September: Solute to 
our Ethnic Business, September 18 th Amber Exhibit Polish and Lithuanian galleries, 
December 3rd & 4 th “Holiday Traditions” [The Ethnic Heritage Museum. “Pulling 

The Heritage Museum plans to expand into the house. A historical house at 
313 Loomis St. will be used to expand Rockford Ethnic Heritage Museum. The Museum 


- 7 - 

expects to sign a contract with the city to buy the house for $100 plus legal expenses, 
said Menroy Mills, a board member and museum curator. 

Once completed, the building will provide storage and office space, a large 
meeting room and a five-room apartment for a live-in custodian for the museum and the 
Graham-Ginestra Home [Rockford Register Star 11-2 -92]. 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum Salutes the “AKA 6”. For “Women in History “ 
Month in the African American Gallery. The museum will pay tribute to 
six outstanding members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a sorority of professional 
Black women and the following are “Ivies beyond the wall” or deceased members who 
have made major accomplishments in the quality of life in the Rockford community 
[Brown, Caryl Jean. Minority Journal March 31, 2005], 

The women been saluted are Caryl Jean Brown, Odie B. Campbell, Constance V. 
Renick Lane, Marcella Eason Harris, Emma E. Stubblefield, And Harriet Anna 
Treadwell, This exhibit will be on display until the end of May [ Brawn, Caryl Jean 
Minority Journal March 31, 2005], 

The museum is open every Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. and is free to 
all members. For non-members to visit this unique exhibit, the cost is $2.00 and 1.00 for 
children under 12. Tours can be arranged by contacting the Ethnic Heritage Museum 
962-7402. The museum is handicap accessible. [Minority Journal March 31, 2005], 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is located in the heart of the old power district. 
Earliest settlers established their factories and businesses, near this convenient source of 
power and built their homes near by. The ethnic groups involved in the Ethnic Heritage 
Museum represent the changing composition of the area from the first settlers to the 



present days. This historic area is being developed and promoted in memory of those 
who first settled on the Bank of Rock River near Kent Creek [The Ethnic Heritage 
Museum. “Pulling Together], 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is a special place for the Berumen Family, 
because there are a lot of memories in that home from 1972 when the Berumen Family 
first came from Mexico to live in the Unites States of America. 

The Ethnic Heritage Museum is a intimate collection of cultural of artifacts. Each 
its six rooms is dedicated to an ethnic group that settled in southwest Rockford past and 
present [Rockford Register Star Weekly Feb. 3, 2005], 

The front Entrance of the Ethnic Heritage Museum on February, 20 2005. [Photo by 
Maria B. Martinez] 


Black History room, on February Black History month African American is focus “Lets 
Play Ball” The featured exhibit has African American athletes, trophies, uniforms, 
pictures of teams, hats and shirts. [ Maria B. Martinez photo] 



- 10 - 

The hats of Catherine Cibas the Italian hat maker, also her wedding dress, marriage 
pictures and map of Italy. [Maria B. Martinez photo] 

Italy room picture of Catherine Cibas and her certificates, onerous, and puppets from 
Italy. [Maria B. Martinez photo] 



I j'j 






Polish room, “ For our freedom and yours!” a flag, traditional costumes, dolls and 
symbols that represent their culture. (Maria B. Martinez] 

Lithuanians Amber artifacts. Lithuania is known as the land of Amber, books, 
newspapers, and magazines. [Maria B. Martinez photo] 


Irish room a flag, books, maps and baby Jesus birth stable. [Maria B. Martinez] 

- 12 - 

Hispanic Latin American room. Clothes, painting, flag, dishes, hats and instruments. 
[Maria B. Martinez photo] 





I "i it* 

I !i! / 


Martinez - 13 - 

Berumen family, the Ethnic Heritage Festival, “Father of the Year”. The family 
celebrated with father on his honor for been Father of the Year for the Hispanic 
Community 2004. [Berumen Family photo] 


Maria B. Martinez birthday on November 21 1974 her first birthday celebrated in the 
Unites States of American. In the kitchen of the house 1 129 S. Main St. With her family. 

Marta Luna, her mother and new grandson in the living room at the house 1 129 S. Main 
St. 1974. { Berumen Member photo] 

The front of the house in 1974 where the store was and had a big sign to publish, 

Damaso, Marta Luna’s son in front of jtfre bouse sitting in his three-wheeler posing for his 
mother. [Marta Luna photo] 

- 14 - 




The home of the Ethnic Heritage Museum 1 129 S. Main St. in Rockford. The new 
museum will have open house Sunday May 7, from 1 1a.m. 4 p.m. [Paul Larson photo] 


ih ! 

Works Cited 

African, American Room Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum. 

20 February 2005 Rockford, IL. Photo by Maria B. Martinez. 

Berumen, Apolonio. Interview. 8 February 2005 Rockford, EL. 

Berumen, Family Photo. 12 June 2004 Rockford, IL. 

Photo by Berumen Member. 

Berumen, Jose. Personal Interview. 8 February 2005 Rockford, EL. 
Bonne, Mark. Rockford Register Start March 5, 2005 Rockford IL. 
Brawn, Caryl Jean. Minority Journal March 31 2005 Rockford IL. 
City of Rockford, Trustees Deed. 13 July 1988 Rockford, EL. 

City of Rockford, Warranty Deed. 20 February 1964 Rockford, IL. 
City of Rockford, Warranty Deed. 24 January 1977 Rockford, IL. 
City of Rockford, Warranty Deed. 15 May 1985 Rockford, EL. 

City of Rockford, Warranty Deed. 10 August 1990 Rockford, EL. 

City of Rockford, Warranty Deed. 10 August 1990 Rockford, IL. 

Ethnic Heritage Museum, Photo. 1 129 S. Main ST. Rockford, IL. 

In year 1974. Photo by Marta Luna. 

Ethnic Heritage Museum 20 February, 2005 “Pulling Together” 
Rockford, IL 2005. 

Ethnic Heritage Museum Photo 20 February 2005 Rockford, IL. 

Photo by Maria B. Martinez 

Family Photo. 1 129 S. Main ST. Rockford, IL In year 1974 
Photo by Berumen Member. 

Hispanic Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum 20 February 2005 
Photo By Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 

Irish Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum 29 February 2005 
Photo by Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 

Italian Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum. 20 February 2005 
Photo by Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 

Italian Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum. 20 February 2005 
Photo by Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 

Lithuanian Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum. 20 February 2005 
Photo by Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 


Luna, Marta. Interview 10 February 2005 Rockford, IL. 

Maria’s, Birthday Photo. 1 129 S. Main ST. Rockford, IL 21 November 1974 
Photo by Berumen Family. 

Martignoni, Shirley. Interview. 22 of February 2005 Rockford, I 

Martinez, Maria B. Visit the Museum 20 February 2005 Rockford, IL 

Martinez, Maria B. Phone call to arrange interview February 7 2005 
Rockford, IL 

Polish Room, Photo. Ethnic Heritage Museum 20 February 2005 
Photo By Maria B. Martinez. Rockford, IL. 2005 

Ruffin, David. Interview April 7 2005 Rockford IL. 

Solvej, Jordahl. Ethnic Heritage Museum Rockford Register Start Newspapers, 
3 February 2005 Rockford, IL. 

Winnebago County, Will and Testament. 7 April 1983 Rockford, IL. 


tOflf tSS 

/¥ **yy 


^mmm sao isnancy 

^ fe* Rss®^ la ^sass^e sfej ci W&ssefe®®® ©asss^?, S&sSs 

BffiaaR&w ©S Bn^ 


Tfe§t $f® @f®9Si©F® 

UJSei SOTOL© ffir»d AM6SLA S07QL0, busfea«d and wife 

as jois^ tesaats aad «aS as eeewntfl is eossaon 

aftbe City of Rockford In «fw> County «$Jlnnebag© ®nd§Saf©©? Illinois 
for and in considarefien e? fhs sum ©f On* Seller end e^ar cr' :, ' :? valaebts «ensld»«tlo!» 
in hens! paid, CONVEY end WARRANT to 

RI8SRT A. BOWDEN, a Bachelor 

©ftboCifcy of Rocuford in the County of Hinnsbago end Sfote of Illinois 

not os tenants in common, bus on joint 'scents, She fallowing dsscribod r®s! sitfeite, ts-vrsfc 

-f Log Six (61 in Bloch 

snfcy*»ts?o (22) as designated upon 


the FI?-: of Church and Robertson’s Addition to the City of Rockford , 
which plat is recorded in Book 53 of Deeds (Plats), page 121 in the 
Recorder’s Office of said county, bounded as follows , to-wit: 
Beginning on the Southerly line of said lot at a point one hundred 
fourteen (114) feet Westerly fros the South East corner thereof; 
thence Northerly, parallel with the Easterly line of said lot, 
fifty-nine (59) feet, to a point seven (7) feet Southerly frost 
the Northerly line of said lot, measured on a line drawn at right 
angles thereto; thence Westerly, psraDJjjl with the Northerly line 
of said lot, forty- two end nine hundredths (42=09) feet, to t&e 
Westerly line of said lot; thence Southerly, along the Westerly 
'Lins, fifty- nine (39) feet to the South West corner of said lot; 
thence Easterly, along the Southerly line of said lot, forty-two 
and nine hundredths (42 = 09) feet to the place of beginning,, 

V - 4 

situated : n the County of Winnebago, in she State of Illinois, hereby releasing end waiving of! rights under. 
end by virtue of the Homestead Enempfien Lows of ths? Stefs of Illinois. 

Subject to general real estate taxes for the year 1963 and 1964 

Dst®d this 



.. (Sea!) 

deyef February , A. 0. i 9 64 



STAT2 Of SiUHOISl f, lbs undersigned, a Notary Public, in end for s®3ci Comfy ssd Stef® ©fere* 
Winnebago County j *‘ 4 ' said, DO HERE&Y CERTIFY THAT 

Luigi Rotol© sad Angsl® Sotelo as® 
rJ-!' ' 'wL peneaofiy tmown te te lb® fto sem® peraonJL wfass® i 

c SgAl) 

r * -'b 

i'V, .. ,;c 

s?ife©d ?® rfso forofsfef fetstevsaoaf, oppamsd fed®?® ess sfe day f» £s®fs®ss 

r*. ™ 0 ! r'l— » — ^r. fTWCtl >^5 O lnr.ii^ — * . 0 -f r , ~ „ Jt 

?3$!2? 8©»0 ©3 

hair. fres <s«d vetetfsty eg?, Se? #$© wg-s @ad pjypessa ?te@§a es? 


— fifeais. 
forth, ?n«fodJs*§ fbo rsfess® rasd 
ray fceswl ftertstto” s®a5 ffeh 


! of tetsatessd!. ©fose i 
gfejmsry * A, ©. If 64 

tWtw g r\ 

1 : 



W So, 1415528 


1 U± LSJXJ- at 


filed for Recorder in Recorders Office of Winnebago County,™ 

3' > £ o o’clock . 



~V " ~ j - 7' 


X-— M.^ , 


Recorder of Deeds\^ \ 



for and in consideration of the sum of One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations CONVEY 
and QUIT CLAIM to: 


whose address is: 313 Loomis Street, Rockford * II, 

all interest in the following described real estate, fo-wit: 

Part of Lot Six (8) in .Block -'Twenty- two (22) as designated upon the Plat of 
Church and Robertson’s Addition to the City of Rockford, which plat is re- 
corded In Book 58 of Deeds (Piste), page 121 in the Recorder's Office of 
said County, bounded as fellows, to-witi Beginning on the Southerly line 
of said lot at a point one hundred fourteen (114) feet Westerly from the 
South East corner thereof: thence Northerly, parallel with the Easterly 
line of said lot, fifty-nine (59) feet, to a point seven (7) feet Southerly 
from the Northerly line of said lot, measured on a line drawn at right 
angles thereto:, thence Westerly, parallel with the Northerly line of said 
lot* forty-two and nine hundredths (42,09). feet* to- the Westerly line of 
said lot; thence Southerly, along the Westerly line, fifty-nine (59) feet 
to the South Wss.C corner of said lot; thence Easterly along the Southerly 
ling of said lot, for ty* two and nine hundredths (42.09) feet to the place 
of beginning; 


(This conveyance is not subject to documentary . stamp, taxes imposed 
by the State of Illinois on certain conveyances of real estate,) 

(continue Jegai on reverse side) ... 

situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. ^^ni^ggR^rassdnssisiag^riHras^ir^csisdsn^ainlifuaSl^KnijfJ 

Dab- ' this 24th 


r¥. /kou \ 
Haren JL. Ttouzon 



5, the undersigned, a Notary Public, in and for said County and 
State aforesaid, DO HEREBY CERTIFY THAT 

v Ruth V, Bowden 

known to ee to bo the same person whose name iesubscribed to the foregoing 

X v.tisves5 tri«der my hand end Notarial Seel this 

Future Taxes to Grantee’s Address! ( X) 


day of Februar^^ 19 77., 



E. L 

401 West State Street 


Return to: Attorney Norman E, Llndste dt 

Rockford, Illinois 61101 

This Iss&unent Prepared ii. 

imim n. quism 

of eise 



•v.C' X s '- 

'■ ■ ■ >*•■•• --.-.A, ■» . » • 


‘ Form 701 - EXECUTOR'S DEED 

Document No. 


Perfection Legal Forms & Piloting Co.. Rockford, IM 

. filed for Record in Recorder's Office o 

J i , life 




County, Illinois . Jf 5 

iX f 
W 's ( jp 

o'clock / M. > (\ 

\l ^ 

Recorder of Deeds, (7 O J 


of the 




7th day of 


A.D. 19 83 , between 

in the County of Winnebago and State of 

as executor of the last will and testament of Martha E. 

, deceased, late of Rockford in the County of 

in the State of Illinois .Grantor 


whose address is: 229 South Park, South Beloit, Illinois 61080 

, Grantee 

WITNESSETH, That, whereas said deceased made and executed a last will and testament, dated the 
6 th day of June A.D. 19 77 duly admitted to prorate in the Circuit 

Court of Winnebago County in the State of Illinois , 

whereby, among other things, She constituted and appointed the said Grantor executor of said last will 
and testament, and did thereby, among other things, authorize and empower said executor to sell and 
convey the real estate hereinafter described; 

AND WHEREAS, on the 20th day of July A.D. 1982 letters ji 

testamentary duly issued out of said Circuit Court to the said Grantor, which said letters are still in full 
force and effect, j 

NOW THEREFORE, The said executor, by virtue of the power and authority given to said executor 
in and by said last will and testament, and for and in consideration of the sum of 

Ten Dollars, i, 

in hand paid by the said Grantee, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged; does hereby GRANT, 
SELL and CONVEY unto the said Grantee the following described real estate, to-wit: 

Part of Lot Six ( 6 ) in Block Twenty- two (22) as designated upon the Plat of Church andj 
Robertson's Addition to the City of Rockford, which plat is recorded in Book 58 of I 
Deeds (Plats), page 121 in the Recorder's Office of said County, bounded as follows, i 
to-wit: Beginning on the Southerlyline of said lot at a point one hundred fourteen 

(114) feet Westerly from the South East comer thereof; thence Northerly, parallel 
with the Easterly lire of said lot, fifty-nine (59) feet, to a point seven (7) feet 

(Continue legal description on reverse side) 

TOGETHER, WITH ALL and SINGULAR, the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise 
appertaining, and ail the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand whatsoever, at law or in equit. , which the said 
deceased had at the time of his death or which the said Grantor now has, in and to the said premises: TO HAVE ^r.d TO 
HOLD the same unto the said Grantee, as fully and effectually to all intents and purposes in law. as said Grantor might, 
could or ought to sell and convey the same, by virtue of the said last will and testament above referred to. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the said Grantor, as executor of said last will and testament has hereunto set . her 

'll Jl H 



WHOSE ADDRESS IS: 1422 National Avenue 

Rockford, Illinois 61103 

ln> * in. consideration of the sum of -One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations in hand 
paid, CONVEY and WARRANT to 

DONALD CECKA and ELOISF. CECKA, husband and wife, 

WHOSE ADDRESS IS: 103 North Chestnut 

Byron, Illinois 61110 



1129 South Main Street 
Rockford, Illinois ' .32 


Part of Lot Six (6) in Block Twenty-two (22) as designated upon the Plat of 
Church and Robertson's Addition to the Town (now City) of R>ckford, the Plat 
of which Addition is recorded in Book U of Deeds on pages 119 and 120 in the 
Recorder's Office of Winnebago County, Illinois, bounded as follows, to-wit: 
Beginning at the Southeasterly comer of said lot; thence Westerly along 
the Southerly line of said lot, one hundred fourteen (114) feet; thence 
Northerly, parallel with the Easterly line of said lot, fifty-nine (59) feet; 
thence Easterly, parallel with the Southerly line of said lot, one hundred 
fourteen (114) feet to the Easterly line of said lot; thence Southerly along 
— said Easterly- line, fifty-nine (59) feer to the place of beginning. 

SUBJECT to general real estate taxes for 1984 and subsequent years, easementc, 
covenants and restrictions, if any, of record. 

(continue legal description on reverse) 

situated in Winnebago County, Illinois, hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and by virtue oi the 
Homestead Exemption Laws oi the State oi Illinois. 


Dated this dayoi 



I, the undersigned, a Notary Public, in and ior said County 
** and State aioreeaid, DO HEREBY CERTIFY THAT 


who is personally known to me to be the tame person whose name 13 subscribed to the ioregoing 
instrument, as having executed the same, appeared before me this day in person and acknowledged that 
she signed, sealed and delivered the said instrument as her free and yqluntapy agt ior the purposes 
♦her **" set forth, iwrlndtng the release and waiver oi the right ^f homeetead^''*^'*:!- 1 

Given under my hand and Notarial Seal this 

PROPERTY CODE:— 2074-47 1 

Future Taxes to: 

1129 South Main Street 


Return t 

Rockford, Illinois 61102 

Pockford, illinois'61101 

This Instrument Prepared By: JAMES R. PIRAGES, Fahy & Cheney, Ltd., Suite 202 - 303*. Main St. 

T1 film 

Documonl No.. 




.hied for Record in Recorder's Office of Winnebago Coun . 

YA o'clock 

.at (SL. TB— o 

Recorder of Deeds 







' -I'ii 


: Cil ?: 







U&Ufi UW 

L£AsA ! & 


fcuCi i mi & ' i - 
' M«Mi 


Nt - *- 

d - r 

."■ ® mtcrr 


!-;* -V- CITY. . 

&&&■ L 




1129 South Main Street 
Rockford, Illinois 61102 

: ^ tto ^ nt 7 Mary *• Goraan 

6067 Str#thaoor Dr., Rockford, IL 61107 

0 kAo$ h .' : ' : 

pjf f .r ; .* ” ' ■ 

66 26 0166 


THIS INDENTURE, made this 13th day of July , 1988 , between FIRST 
OF AMERICA TRUST COMPANY, a National Banking Association, as Trustee under the provisions of a 
deed or deeds in trust, duly recorded and delivered to said company in pursuance of a trust agreement 
dated the 4th day of January ,19 67 , and known as Trust Number 605 .party 
of the first part, and THERESE R. SCHMELTZER party of 

the second part. WITNESSETH, That said party of the first part, in consideration of the sum of 


and other good and valuable considerations in hand paid, does hereby grant, sell and convey unto said 
party of the second part, the following described real estate, situated in 
County, Illinois, to-wit: 

Part of Lot Six (6) in Block Twenty-two (22) as designated upon 
the Plat of Church and Robertson's Addition to the Town (now City) 
of Rockford, the Plat of which Addition is recorded in Book U of 
Deeds on pages 119 and 120 in the Recorder's Office of Winnebago 
County, Illinois, bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the 

Southeasterly corner of said lot; thence Westerly along the 
Southerly line of said lot, one hundred fourteen f 1 1 4 ) feet; thence 
Northerly, parallel with the Easterly line of said lot, fifty-nine 
(59) feet; thence Easterly, parallel with the Southerly line of 
said lot, one hundred fourteen C114) feet to the Easterly line of 
said lot; thence Southerly along said Easterly line, fifty-nine 
(59) feet to the place of beginning. 

Consnonly known as 1129 South Main St., Rockford, IL 61102 
SUBJECT TO: Easements and restrictions of record. 

t»«Uw with Uta iMkMMeta and appurtenances Owfumto Mooting 

Tv HAVE AND TO HOLD the mas. uate Mid party of the eocond part. and to tbe prop or uao. beo.6t and behoof forever of laid part y of 

Tfcfc deed to KMKto I 

i the Mtfci ae of the poo« and authority gran Lad to and ««Ud In Mud truotoo by live term* of tatd dood 
*“ 1 of the trust m t i— ant shove BMflUooto Tbu dead u» made subject to tba lien of ovary 

tnto Ami or urtaae* Of any thaw ba) of record in mH county given to secure the payment of e aoney and remaining unrcdoesod at Um da to of 

(N VriTH&gg ^HERXOF. pH wr«y of the AM port hm ca u sed toe corporate mei to b« hereto aAxed. and boa caused its mom to bo signed to 
ttoon uygait bsr H§ ..Sri. PWtooot mi attested by too AV.B X&ltiC the d*y end year Arot above smitan. 

- • * r ■ FIRST OF AMERICA TRUST COMPANY, As Trustee as aforesaid, 

Sr Vice -erMd*i 


Ass't. Vice President 



t tlw uadampaod, • NoUrjr Public in and far Um County and Sum aforemid. DO HEREBY CERTIFY, that 

and SjC — Vi CR — Praaidant nnd — AV . P XMUIW tba Pint of Amnncn Trunt 

mpaoy. Oran tor, panooally known to no to bo thn udm parson* whoaa nunoo nn aubtcribod to tbo 
butraanat u such S r — V ice — PnoJdoat ud — AVP r ~W w TW1-i-~ ' 'r appaarad 

Cron nnd voluntary net nnd u tbo fro# nnd volnnury not of told Company for tba uaaa nnd purpoaaa 

than 1 :i Mt forth; ud tba said AVP. .. CKUKXhan nnd than ackoowladfad that mid AVP 

CitSUi ft cuatodian of tba corponu cad of mid Company, en unn d tba corpnraU anal of mid Company to ba 
•*" .. to said Inatruaant a « aaid . AVP ittuai, own fra* and voluntary act and u the fro* and 

voluntary act of said Company for Uw uaaa and purpoaaa therein eat forth 

/J / 


Document No 1891467 (Hed for Record in Recorder's Office of Winnebago County, 

Illinois, (3^ I at IPr'jwL —o'clock 


, Recorder of Deeds 


DONALD CECKA and ELOISE CECKA , Husband and Wife, 

WHOSE ADDRESS IS: p> 0> Box 2 76 - Byron, Illinois 61010 

for and in consideration of the sum of One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations in hand 
paid, CONVEY aci WARRANT to 



1127-1129 South Main Street - Rockford, Illinois 61102 


1127-1129 South Main Street - Rockford, Illinois 61102 


The East 114 feet of the South 59 feet of Lot Six (6), Block 
Twenty-two (22), as designated upon the Plat of Church and 
Robertson's Addition to the Town, now City of Rockford; situated 
in the County of Winnebago and State of Illinois. 


BARBARA W. SMITH, Attorney at Law 
(continue legal description on reverse) 

situated in Winnebago County, Illinois, hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and by virtue of the 
Homestead Exemption Laws of the State of Dlinois. 

Dated this 10th 

— dayof August ^ 19 go- 



For Recorder's Use Only 



L J. i L 

I, the undersigned, a Notary Public, in and for said County 
and State aforesaid, DO HEREBY CERTIFY THAT 

DONALD CECKA and ELOISE CECKA, Husband and Wife, 

who a r eperson ally known to r?e to be the same person whose names a r (subscribed to the foregoing 
instrument, as having executed the same, appeared before me this day in person and acknowledged that 
they signed, sealed and delivered the said instrument aa thei <ree and voluntary net for the purposes 
therein set forth, including the release and waiver of the/ right of homestead. 

Given under my hand and Notarial Seal this I -I 10th Awdui /7 Auenat ,Q 90 


Future Taxes to: 

1127-1129 S. Main Street 

Rock ford , IL 61102 

Return to 

This Instrument Prepared By: 




a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the law» of the State of Illinois 
and duly authorized to transact business in the State where Uje following described real estate is located, 
for and in consideration of One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations, the receipt of which is 
hereby acknowledged, and pursuant to authority given by the Board of Directors of said corporation, 


a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Slate of Illinois 
and whose address is 

1129 S. Main St., Rockford. Winnebago County, Illinois 

the following described real estate to-wit: Part of Lot Six (6) in Block Twenty-two (22) as desi 

nated upon the Plat of Church and Robertson's Addition to the Town (now City) of Rock- 
ford, the Plat of which Addition is recorded in Book U of Deeds on pages 119 and 120 
the Recorder's Office of Winnebago County, Illinois, bounded as follows, to-wit: 
Beginning at the Southeasterly corner of said lot; thence Westerly along the Southerly 
line of said lot, one hundred fourteen (114) feet; chence Northerly, parallel .with the 
Easterly line of said lot, fifty-nine (59) feet; thence Easterly, parallel with the 
Southerly line of said lot, one hundred fourteen (114) feet to the Easterly line of sail 
lot; thence Southerly along said Easterly line, fifty-/fl)ne (59) feet, to the place of 
beginning ; 

situated in the County of. 

Winnebago . 


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, said Grantor has caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed, and has 

caused its name to be signed to these presents by its President, and 

attested by its Executive Secretary, this 10 th day n f August io 90 



MENROt (B. MILLS,' Executive Secretary 





I, Ihe 

UOd " 1,g D , fAftA N mM C ' i 

, in and for taid County, in the State aforetaid, DO HEREBY CERTIFY THAT 

perxonaiiy known to me to be the 



President of the Corporation who ia the grantor, and 

Secretary of said corporation, and personally known 

personally known to me to be the . 
to me to be the aarnc persons whewe names are subscribed to the foregoing instrument, appeared before me this day in person 
and severally acknowledged that as such President and Executive 

Secretary, they signed and delivered the said instrument aa 
Executive Secretary of taid corporation, and caus< 

Preaident and. 

thereto, pursuant to authority, given by the Board of Directors of 
free and voluntary act and deed of said corporation, for the uses an* 


Given under my hand and Notarial Seal this . 

Future Taxes to Grantee’s Address ( X ) 
OR to 

. day of 1 

the corporate teal of taid corporation to be affixed 
id/corporation at their free and voluntary act, and at the 
purposes therein set forth. 

August A/ H . .90 

/ / *■ 4 

Return this document to: 

Ethnic Heritage Museum, Inc . **^ - 
1129 S. Main St. 

OFF ICI AL . . SEAL " ; 
Q/VmaANHic.W. 5 MITH , 

Rockford, Illinois 61101 

iiik Instrument was Prepar 
Whose address is: 

hv . Barbara W. Smith, Attorney at Law 
econa Avenue , Suite 2ul, Rbckford , IL 61104 

90 26 125b 

Williams - 1 

Chris Williams 
English 103, Section RRM 
7 April 2005 

Roy Gayle Baseball Complex 

In this age of large corporations purchasing land and developing the land into 
buildings and large parking lots this has been detrimental to our youth of today losing 
their recreational facilities to these large business. The land thus is overtaken destroying 
the lives of so many that have no control in the whole realm of things. When will these 
large corporations realize that the youth of today are the future for tomorrow? 

The Roy Gayle Baseball Complex in Rockford, IL is located west of Rockford on 
Meridian Road and Bypass 20. The very first diamond, the Pony field or Diamond 1 
was constructed in 1962. Diamond 2 was added shortly after bringing the Bronco World 
Series for Pony Baseball to town. The Mighty Mites (a feeder system for the Bronco 
League) came to Roy Gayle around 1978. Two smaller diamonds were subsequently 
built for that program. It was renamed as the Mustang League and became franchised 
under the National Pony Baseball organization. The acronym for Pony is “Protect Our 
Nation’s Youth”. 

Pinto baseball started with four teams around 1986. The league quickly grew to 
20 teams. As enrollment grew in the early 1990s, so did the need for additional diamonds 
giving birth to Diamond 4. One of the original Mustang fields was turned and yet 
another diamond was built. Those diamonds are currently Diamonds 5 and 6. A couple 
of years after that brought the construction of a full size baseball field at Diamond 7 
allowing the Colt League to be added to the program for 1 5 and 16 year old boys. Girl’s 

I ill 





Williams - 2 

softball was added in the mid 1990s. The program grew from the original 20 Pony and 
Bronco teams on two diamonds to the present day 80+ teams on 7 beautiful diamonds. 

A Rockford Park District grant made it possible to upgrade electrical service to 
handle the demands of a booming program. A new parking lot was built and the original 
one was resurfaced in order to handle increased traffic. A new entrance and road around 
Diamond 4 enabled an easier flow of traffic through the park. The new millennium saw 
new lights on the original Bronco field and the replacement of the fencing around all of 
the diamonds. 

The year 2003 brought yet another new league for 5 and 6 year olds. The Shetland 
League began its maiden year with 8 teams. All programs combined accommodate over 
1000 kids. We estimate over 20,000 have come through the Roy Gayle system over the 
last 42 years (Rockford Pony Baseball Website). 

The man who originally started Roy Gayle Complex was Mr. R. G. Gayle of 
Springfield, IL veteran of the air service in World War I and widely known in 
landscaping circles in the Midwest, who was elected general manager of Willwood Burial 
Park. He arrived in Rockford November 12 1927, with his family and made his home at 
1280 N. Main St. Mr. Gayle had a wide experience in the cemetery, park planning, and 
landscape development. He was a member of the Scottish rite consistory of Sioux City, 
IA and was also a member of the American Legion. During the World War I he was an 
instructor in aerial gunnery at Chanute Field ( Rockford Daily Republic ). 

Mr. Gayle grew all sorts of flower arrangements at Willwood cemetery and 
momentary. Roy Gayle designed a fountain area along the bike path in Rockford back in 
1929 (Gale). In 1962, Mr. Gayle made an agreement with Willwood Cemetery to start a 
youth baseball league and to play baseball on Willwood Cemetery property. The league 

Williams - 3 

was able to lease the land on a year-to-year lease for $1 from Will wood Cemetery 
(Rockford Pony Baseball Website). Mr. Gayle always had plans to expand the baseball 
league and complex. 

In 1999, the family of Willwood sold the cemetery to Service Corp. International. 
This included the Roy Gayle Baseball complex to be sold along with the cemetery. The 
Roy Gayle Baseball Complex Board for Roy Gayle had no written agreement with 
Willwood Cemetery for SCI Inc. to honor this sale. Now SCI wants a whopping 
$22,000 an acre or about 1.2 million for the 55-acre tract that Roy Gayle Baseball 
Complex occupies (Sweeny 1 la). So, without the Roy Gayle Complex, more then 1,000 
kids every year will not have a home at which to play. The Gayle family gave the 
baseball league a home at Willwood cemetery and the league stayed on the land with a 
year-to-year lease with the Gayles never being threatened to discontinue with the baseball 
league. Now the Roy Gayle Complex is in a battle. 

Mike Broski, the Roy Gayle Leagues capital campaign fund-raising chairman said 
SCI Inc. for the last six years has granted the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex with the 
occupation of the facility for $1 a year, but back in 2003 decided to put the 55 acres up 
for sale asking a whopping sale that exceeds the property worth (Sweeny 1 la). The 
location of the complex has no sewer and no water available so realistically the property 
is not worth the $22,000 an acre. A local appraisal conducted would estimate as $3,000 
an acre or $165,000 grand total. SCI Inc. tends to differ with this view and thinks that 
Rockford sells land to cheap because land in Houston, TX where the company is based 
would go for the $22,000 an acre (Sweeny 11a). A spokeswoman for SCI Inc. has said 
that SCI has “done everything possibly to help the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex with this 
situation” (Sweeny 1 la). 

Williams - 4 

Roy Gayle is run and operated by a volunteer board of directors committed to 
providing quality baseball and softball to the area youth. Rockford Pony Baseball is a 
not-for-profit organization. Hours and hours of year- round planning and organizing go 
into each and every aspect of the functioning of the park. These volunteers also provide a 
large amount of work in preparing and caring for the physical needs of the park such as 
the operation of the concession, the hiring of grounds crews to maintain the mowing on 
the ball diamonds, and to have one board at the Complex during game nights for parents 
that have questions or any other matters that may arise. The system would not be a 
success if not for the many volunteer managers, coaches, and generous sponsors who 
support our program and the kids (Kimbrell). The President of Rockford Pony Baseball 
at Roy Gayle is Phil Rivera. The Treasurer at Roy Gayle is Ken Held. The Capital 
Campaign Chairman is Mike Broski. Finally, the Public Relations Chair is Michele 
Smith (Rockford Pony Baseball Website). 

In trying to save the baseball complex, the board has had several fund-raising 
opportunities for the community to help in raising the funds to make a purchase for the 
land. Some of these were the charity dinners, concession stand/park naming rights, 
alumni patron day, wall of fame, outfield, and diamond naming rights. This has helped 
with the raising of the portion of $400,000 that has been raised. The Rockford Park 
District has provided a tremendous amount of assistance to the cause and has been 
prepared to help write a land acquisition grant that will help to raise much of the money 
needed to purchase the land. This grant titled the OSLAD grant for which means Open 
Space Land Acquisition and Development (Broski). Without the necessary funding to 
complete the purchase, the board of Rockford Pony Baseball will face the challenge of 
attempting to make up the difference. 

Williams - 5 

The effects and memories of Roy Gayle Baseball have had an enormous effect on 
many kids and adults over the years. Coaches and players have had lasting memories 
while at Roy Gayle and one is Coach Kimbrell. Mr. Kimbrell works at Hamilton 
Sundstrand in Rockford, IL. In his spare time he coaches nine and ten year olds at Roy 
Gayle Baseball Complex. He has coached at Roy Gayle for three years now and won the 
championship last year as the manager. Not only does he coach baseball at Roy Gayle, 
but he also is on the board of directors. What he does in the off-season is to help out with 
decisions for the upcoming year and he also helps with the planning for early season sign 
ups. Greg has been very helpful in the ongoing battle to raise money for the complex 

Another, person is Mark Soter; Mark is a finance manager at an aerospace 
company in Dallas, TX. Mark played at Roy Gayle as a kid and had some forever lasting 
moments. Mark recalled a time when the team he was on had only won two games that 
whole regular season and was the laughing stock of the league. Mark’s team had to play 
against a team in the playoffs with the best record and which had been beaten only once 
all year. No one gave Mark’s team a chance against this team, but Mark’s team played 
their best game by far and won the game and ended that team’s season early in the 
playoffs (Soter). 

Finally, Kory Vaught just recently played baseball at Roy Gayle last year. He is a 
freshman at Winnebago High School and he plays football, baseball and basketball. 

Kory played baseball at Roy Gayle since he was seven. Kory liked playing baseball at 
Roy Gayle and thought that it was a great experience that he would not exchange for 
anything else. Kory played on champion teams, all-star teams and traveling all-star 
teams. Even though time has passed Kory by from ever playing at Roy Gayle, he will 

Williams - 6 

forever miss playing ball at Roy Gayle (Vaught). The Roy Gayle Baseball Complex has 
made a huge difference in the lives of these young men. Yes, baseball and softball skills 
are honed and tested with these kids learning life skills that they will need and use 
throughout their lifetime. The benefits are immeasurable and therefore the best lessons 
athletes can learn are sportsmanship and teamwork. 

Many questions have been manufactured about the possibility if the money for the 
purchase of the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex is not raised and the complex is sold. The 
Roy Gayle board has discussed finding a new location by either building a new complex 
or moving to an existing facility and upgrading that facility. However, the history and 
the incalculable timeless moments that have occurred at Roy Gayle cannot be replaced. 
So, that is a reason why so many people have tried to donate time and money towards the 
purchase of the complex to keep it at its present location forever. 

In conclusion, the City of Rockford needs the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex for 
the youth of today and tomorrow. It brings boys and girls from all ethnic, economic, and 
religious backgrounds. They learn to work together as a team, value each other and have 
an authoritive figure to listen too. This is all very important in building good 
sportsmanship, friendships, and respect. 

Williams - 7 

Entrance sign to the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex. 

(Rockford Pony Baseball Website). 

Williams - 8 

Another entrance sign to the Roy Gayle Baseball Complex. 

(Rockford Pony Baseball Website). 

I vv^?: 


Williams - 9 










Williams 40 

Works Cited 

Broski, Michael. “Roy Gayle - 42 years of Pony Baseball.” Rock River Times. 14 
April 2004. 

Gale, Bucky. Personal Interview. 17 February 2005. 

Kimbrell, Greg. Personal Interview. 1 1 February 2005. 

“New Manager For Willwood Arrives Here”. 12 November 1927. Rockford Daily 

Republic . Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 10 February 

“Rockford Pony Baseball”. 2 February 2005. Rockford Pony Baseball Website . 

Frequently Asked Questions. 2 February 2005. < >. 
“Rockford Pony Baseball Pictures”. Photographer unknown. Acquired from 
< >. 15 March 2004. 

Soter, Mark. Personal Interview. 4 February 2005. 

Sweeny, Chuck. “Roy Gayle Baseball Complex In Grave Danger.” 29 May 2003. 
Rockford Register Star . 2 February 2005. 
< >. 

Sweeny, Chuck. “State Pitches In Grant To Buy Roy Gayle Complex.” Rockford 
Register Star . 30 March 2005: 11a. 

Vaught, Kory. Personal Interview. 1 1 February 2005. 

' ill ! 





Daniels 1 

Kristen Daniels 
English 103, Section DWX 
25 April 2005 

Children are sweet miracles 
sent from God above 
To fill the world with goodness 
and the blessings of His love- 
Children express their feelings 
with such open honesty, 

They greet each day with wonder 
as a new discovery... 

They appreciate the simple things- 
a bird, a leaf, a flower- 
They make believe and fondly weave 
new daydreams by the hour... 

And in their truth and innocence 
there’s nothing they can’t do- 
They keep their eyes on rainbows 
and believe in dreams come true. 

Yes, children are sweet miracles 
sent by God above 
To fill the world with goodness 
and the blessings of His love. 

Amanda Bradley 

1*11 ll 



Daniels 2 

Looks Can be Deceiving 

A dusty, red Dodge Neon pulled in to the lot. Inside, a nervous, brown haired, 
blue-eyed college student sat in the driver’s seat. She was 19 years old and had just 
been in a car accident which brought her to this parking lot at Walter Lawson Children’s 

She had been driving her brother around all day and just wanted to get home. It 
had been raining but she never thought the road would be slick. The police aren’t sure if 
she hit the ice before or after she ran in to the other car, but she rolled it three times and 
ended up on the passenger side of the car. 

“Are you alright?” She asked her brother slowly trying to remember what 
happened. “Say something.” She shouted, terrified something was wrong. No response. 
She looked over and saw her brother’s head hanging on his chest, which was slowing. 
She screamed for help while trying to restrain her tears. What have I done? She asked 
herself. What was / doing ? Just then a paramedic arrived right at her windshield. 
“HELP!” she screamed. 

“It’s alright Miss, that’s why I’m here.” he responded. 

“My brother, help my brother!” she told him, “He won’t say anything! What’s 
wrong with him?” 

“Miss it’ll be? Miss look at me, Miss keep you eyes open, Miss talk to me! Bryan 
I need the Jaws!” 

Three days later she woke up in a hospital room with her grandmother’s hand 
resting on her’s. 

“Grandmother?” She asked puzzled, “What’s going on? What am I doing here?” 

“There’s been an accident .dear.” 

Daniels 3 


“You were in a car accident with your brother.” 

“Is he okay? Please tell me he is okay!” 

“He’s alive! We have that to be thankful for, but darling...” She paused, “He 
severed his spinal cord. He’s completely paralyzed.” 

“Oh my gosh!” She gasped, “It’s all my fault wasn’t it?” 

“No one knows, Dear. The whole road was covered in ice.” 

“How is he handling it?. ..Being paralyzed and all?” She asked her grandmother. 
“He doesn’t really understand what is going on.” 

“Is... Is he brain dead or something?” she stumbled. 

“No!” She assured her, “He can comprehend fully, but he hit his head so hard 
that he has amnesia and doesn’t understand why he can’t move anything!” 

“It’s all my fault my brother is going to be a vegetable the rest of his life. It’s all my 
fault!” She started to cry. 

“Sweetheart, you just need to rest. Get some sleep! I’ll be back in the morning to 
pick you up and take you home.” She hugged her grandmother, laid back, and closed 
her eyes. 

She was woken up the next morning to see her grandmother next to her. “Good 
morning, darling! Ready to go home?” 

Within the next hour she got out of her bed, changed in to the clothes her 
grandmother had brought for her, and got a release from her doctor. On their way home 
her grandmother told her about a children’s home that her brother was be taken to. “You 
should go visit him. Check out the place. The kids there are happy, really happy!” 
“Shouldn’t he come live with us, his family? I want him at home with me!” 

“This is the best place for him. His every need will be taken care of. Things we 

could never provide him. 

Daniels 4 

“Maybe... but he needs me. We’re all he has left.” She argued. “I want to take 
care of him!” 

Her grandmother sighed, “By putting him there you are taking care of him. You 
need to have a life also and by putting him there you will.” 

As they pulled in to the driveway, she started to cry, “But it’s my fault he’s there.” 
“Please, just go and see this place. You can head over right now.” 

About twenty minutes later her dusty, red Neon pulled in to the lot. She was 
nervous. She wanted to see her brother, but would it really be him? Would he even 
recognize me? She thought. She opened the door and stepped out. She looked around 
the parking lot to see a dull and dreary place. Oh great she thought to herself. He’s 
probably just in a small room where he gets no interaction with people. . .like prison. She 
started walking and as she approached the door she realized she was wrong. As soon 
as she stepped into the building the children’s home was buzzing. Kids were every 
which way she turned and they were all smiling and laughing. All with disabilities, some 
worse than others, but they were still all happy. The walls were bright with bugs and 
flowers painted on them. Everywhere she looked it just made her want to smile. “Ma’am, 
can I help you?” A nurse asked. 

“Yes,” she smiled, “I’m here to see my brother. He was supposed to be brought 
here yesterday!” 

“Of course! I know who you are talking about!” she smiled, “He’s in room 13 
down the hall and to your left. It’s a good thing you got here. He’s been asking for you!” 
“You mean he remembered me?” She smiled. Maybe this place will be good for 
him she thought as she walked down the hall to room 13. 

In Loves Park, Illinois, a town of 20,000 people, 88 children and adults are very 
special (Loves Park 1). They range in age from infancy to 30 and live at Walter Lawson 

Daniels 5 

Children’s Home. Walter Lawson Children’s Home is a house for non-ambulatory 
children who are severely and deeply handicapped (Home 1). “The home is licensed by 
the state as a skilled pediatric facility for the care of developmental^ disabled children. It 
meets all government rules, regulations, and standards concerning services, equipment, 
and physical plan. It is also approved for participation in Title XIX, Medicaid (Admission 
1).” There are twelve homes like Walter Lawson around the state and they are mostly 
located in the Chicago area, with the exception of Loves Park, Sterling, and 
Champagne. The children come from all over just to go to this home (Primuth). 

Walter Lawson Children’s Home opened in 1971. Since the beginning of the 
home it has always been located at 1820 Walter Lawson Drive in Loves Park, Illinois. 

Front of Walter Lawson Children’s Home. Picture, n.d. 

The land was donated by Walter Lawson, the father of Gladys Olsen on the condition 
that whatever was built on the land was named after him. And thus Walter Lawson 
Children’s Home was built. Currently 88 children and adults live at the home. The 
children in the home physically and mentally function anywhere from two months to eight 
months in age, even though he or she may be ten years old. 

Daniels 6 

Admission in to the home is open to children from birth up to age ten. The 
children are allowed to stay at the home until age twenty-two as long as residency is 
appropriate. The state has allowed a thirty-nine year old to stay in the home because of 
health reasons (Primuth). Before being admitted to the home, the interdisciplinary team 
requires a full medical summary to evaluate the aptness of each admission. The final 
acceptance is based on each child’s development level and the home’s ability to meet 
the needs of the child. Once a child has been admitted, he or she is given an 
examination and evaluation. This is to determine the child’s program of care and training 
to provide the most rewarding life possible. Each program is constantly monitored and 
improved if needed to ensure its effectiveness and to prevent and resolve problems. 
Family is always welcome to come and see their child and to check on their progress 
(Admission 1). 

Every child over the age of three must be registered in his or her school district. 
The school must then contact the home to make education arrangements (Admission 1). 

About half of the children 
go to local schools such 
as Harlem, Hononegah, 
and Rockford public 
schools and if they are 
too sick to attend a local 
school then they attend a 
licensed school inside of 

the home. There are eighteen residents that are over the age of eighteen and they are 
required to attend a day training program (Primuth). 

Child at School. Picture, n.d. 

Daniels 7 

The education programs are customized to advance and express each child’s 
potential. Each program results from an examination of the child’s abilities in motor 
development, self-care, socialization and, language and communication. Sensory Motor 
Integration is intended to “promote the child’s purposeful interaction with his/her 
environment” (Education 1). They do such things as adapt Playstation twos so that the 
child only has to push one button or move their head one way or the other to make the 
game work (Primuth). The program also incorporates self-help, which makes the child 
aware of and involved in eating, bathing, dressing, and any other personal functions. 

Each child’s plan has short and long term goals. Another part of accomplishing 
these goals is through language and communication. During daily activities the children 
are provided many different opportunities for picking up “expressive and receptive 
language skills”. The children learn to use communication systems, including 
augmentative communication devices, communication boards, responsive gestures, sign 
language and spoken words. 

The final area of development is positioning. Proper body alignment is imperative 
to physical functioning (Education 1). Special equipment is designed especially for each 
child to ensure proper positioning. They each have boards and chairs that are molded to 
their specific needs for lying, sitting and standing (Primuth). This is to make sure of 
maximal functioning and to promote healthy body alignment (Education 1). 

A day for each child is for the most part the same, at least during the week. They 
wake up and eat breakfast at six o’clock in the morning. Around nine o’clock in the 
morning they are in school. Whether they are at a school in the home or out in the 
community they are receive lunch around eleven. Then at three o’clock they are done for 
the day and get transported back to the home. They eat dinner around four in the 
evening and get a snack before they go to bed (Primuth). On the weekends it is a totally 

Daniels 8 

different story. The residents get to go to musical concerts, the circus, Rockford 
Lightning games, and hayrides. They also participate in the Special Olympics 
(Community 1). 

A huge part of making Walter Lawson 
successful is the staff. The nursing staff is there 
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The 
nurses are responsible for the daily care of the 
residents. Constant communication between the 
nursing and education staff helps to integrate each 
child’s program. Physicians make regular visits and are 
on emergency call (Nursing 1). Each physician 
donates two weeks to the home to help keep costs low 
Weekend of Fun. Picture, n.d. and currently there is a five-year waiting list for doctors 
to come and donate their two weeks (Primuth). 

Not only in a town of 20,000 people, but a county, Walter Lawson has found a 
place in this and many communities around Illinois. The four areas of development in 
education help to raise each child up to his/her potential and doing it in a fun manner 
such as Playstation Two helps the children to learn faster. From the commitment of the 
nursing staff to the weekend outings the children get to go on, Walter Lawson Children’s 
Home is an exceptional place for a child who is developmentally challenged to live and 


Works Cited 

“Admission Policies.” Walter Lawson Children’s Home. 


Child at School. Picture, n.d. 

“Community Experiences.” Walter Lawson Children’s Home. 


“Education Program.” Walter Lawson Children’s Home. 


Front of Walter Lawson Children’s Home. Picture, n.d. 

“Home Away From Home.” Walter Lawson’s Children’s Home. 


“Loves Park, IL” 

< > 

“Nursing Program.” Walter Lawson Children’s Home. 


Primuth, Jan. Personal Interview. 6 April 2005. 

Special Education Specialist. “Special Education Specialist.” n.d. 16 April 2005. 


Tammy’s World. “Children are Sweet Miracles.” n.d. 10 April 2005. 


Weekend of Fun. Picture, n.d. 

Marcela G. Breceda V. 
English 103, Section RRM 
10 May 2005 

Breceda 2 

Rockford Lockwood Park Observatory. 

The Lockwood Park Observatory has had many important astronomical events in 
the City of Rockford to present to its residents, and it has an interesting history since its 
construction began. First of all, without the huge cooperation of the Rockford Amateur 
Astronomers, Inc, the City of Rockford would not to have had the privilege to build an 
observatory. This observatory is located at 5209 Safford Rd. Rockford, IL 61101. This 
place is reserved for those who are very interesting in observing space, those who love 
to know more about their outer space home which is Earth, and of course, those who 
would like to find more answers and more questions about the sky observations. 

The Rockford Lockwood Park Observatory was planned to be built since January 
1975 when the Rockford Amateur Astronomers Association president Barry Beamon 
was quoted in an article in the Rockford Morning Star , 

President of the Rockford Astronomy Club, talk with Keith Henry during 
Thursday night’s first anniversary celebration for the Rockford Planetarium. 
During the open house at the Rockford Public Library, where the planetarium is 
located, Henry, 1131 Sterling Drive, announced he was donating equipment 
needed to construct a telescope. Henry then was present with a gold-colored 
brick given to supporters of the planetarium. During its first year of operation, the 
planetarium was visited by 10,000 persons. 

Breceda 3 

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BAP-RY BEAMON, president of the Rockford Astronomy Club, 
right, talks with Keith Henry during Thursday night's first 
anniversary celebration for the Rockford Planetarium. During 
open house at the Rockford Public Library, where the plane- 
tarium is located, Henry, 1131 Sterling Drive, announced he is 

donating equipment needed to construct a telescope. Henry then 
was presented with a gold-colored brick given to supporters 
of the planetarium. During its first year of operation, the plane- 
tarium was visited by 10,000 persons. 

Picture from article of Rockford Morning Star newspaper. President of RAA. 

Then, another unknown author of an article said the “observatory is ready for its 
first stargazer” which was written in February 27, 1981. The author wrote about some 
equipment to start operating this observatory such as: 

The observatory’s focal point is a telescope with a 12 14 -inch diameter 
mirror and 80-inch-long tube, build by Rayne Eastman and Carl Hand in the 
1950s. Eastmen, and astronomer and architect who designed the Court Street 
United Methodist Church, used the telescope at his home. 

Astronomy classes are being planned to begin sometime in April, and 
membership in the club is open to anyone interested in astronomy. 

In consequence, after this article seems that this year was finally built to start 
operations. This is the way it looked when the observatory moved from a planetarium in 


Breceda 4 

the public library to take a place in the Rockford Lockwood Park. This is one of the first 
pictures showing how people from Rockford were excited to have an observatory. 

Lockwood Park Observatory, Rockford, Illinois. Park entrance. 

The idea to build the observatory was from the president of the RAA club 
because it needed more space around the telescope to do observations of the sky. In 
addition another article describes how the club had control of the observatory to have 
the best studies by night. This article is “Astronomers Urge ‘Light control’.” and 
explained, “The astronomy club wants to protect at least the one-mile circular area 
surrounding the observatory from becoming light-polluted through enactment of an 
ordinance which would prohibit all lights not shielded from throwing light into the sky.” In 
other terms to have better conditions for watching the sky is necessary not to have too 
much light around the observatory including inside of the telescope room. 

: : . : 

Breceda 5 

This observatory is located in the northwest part of the city of Rockford. 
According to map address to find this place start from Rockford, IL and go 
west from W State St 0.3 mi, then turn right at Rockton Ave 0.1 mi. Next, turn left at W 
Jefferson St 0.1 mi, and continue toward Kilburn Ave 0.1 mi, then bear right at Kilburn 
Ave 2.2 mi. Finally, bear left at Safford Rd 1.2 mi to 5209 Safford Rd. This is how to get 
to Lockwood Park Observatory. 

This is the most recent view of this building according to Marcela G Breceda’s 
photo. The first picture is taken from Safford Rd, principal entrance to the Park, and the 
observatory is the first building on the right side of the entrance to the park. The second 
picture is capture from the parking lot of the park that is in the front of the observatory. 
In this picture one is able to appreciate the main door of the observatory. 

The Principal Entrance of the Lockwood Park. 

Breceda 6 

Front of the observatory. 

The development related to regional influences by the president and members of 
the RAA to motivate future generations to be more interested in the cosmos. One of the 
pictures from the Rockford Park District shows the president of the club with children of 
different ages showing them how to use a telescope and make some observations. 

This structure of the observatory has been changing because one of the photos 
from the Rockford Park District shows the first telescope room with the 25-by-25-foot 
frame; the metal-domed building was designed according to an article in the Rockford 
Register Star in 1980. This picture is shows a sign with the original name of the 
observatory which was Quarry Hill Observatory. 

Breceda ? 

Quarry Hill Observatory. Rockford, Illinois. Safford Rd. entrance. 

Later the name became known just like the Lockwood Park Observatory. These 
pictures are in the Park District Files. 

Lockwood Park Observatory, Rockford Illinois. Safford Rd. entrance. 

Breceda 8 

Since it was constructed as a place to entertain people of any age, this 
observatory is accessible to the public totally free. There is no charge just for those 
people who want or can give a donation, but it is not an obligation for the public to 
cooperate financially. According to an article in the Rockford Register Star. “Advantages 
of Membership in Rockford Amateur Astronomer.” 

The original people who donated the land, the equipment, and the building were 
instrumental in having this fine place built. The current president of the RAA, Berry 
Beamon, makes sure the observatory is operational and used as a teaching experience 
for those who are interested. 

The future for this site is optimistic. The RAA club is hopeful to have more people 
involved, to become more utilized and popular with the citizens of the Rockford area in 
the short term such as a list that is in the handout to the public. The advantages of 
Membership in RAA are: 

Use of Lockwood Park Observatory, programs geared to special 
astronomical interest, astrophotography sessions, and exclusive access to dark- 
sky sites, reduce rates for Sky & Telescope Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, 
astronomical league membership (AL), Al Observing Club, Al Quarterly 
Newsletter-the Reflector, and learning opportunities. This club also has monthly 
meetings which are on the third Wednesday of each month at Lockwood Park 
Observatory. Meetings start at 7:30 PM in the auditorium building. 

In the long term there are hopes to make this site larger and to build a 
planetarium according to teacher from Rockford Valley College F. Duane Ingram, PhD., 
who is an active member of the club, and perhaps to construct this planetarium in the 

Breceda 9 

Rock Valley College. However, there is no funding or enough interest at the present 
time to accomplish this goal. People are currently more informed than three decades 
ago because, according to an article from Rockford Register Star dated 1973, “Sixth 
Graders Jump Gun in Planetarium.” After several interviews with children from the sixth 
grade, “Many people don’t know what a planetarium is, he said. One lady wanted to 
know how we would point a telescope out of the library, and someone else thought a 
planetarium was a place to get plants.” Subsequently, if people are more educated 
about what is a planetarium, and an observatory will be better for everybody and will 
have a better opportunity to see different objects around the Earth. 

Breceda 10 

Works Cited 

“Advantages of Membership in Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.” Rockford Register 
Star No date. 

“Barry Beamon President of the Rockford Astronomy Club” Rockford Morning Star 
14 January 1975. 

Front of the Observatory. Rockford, Illinois. 

Personal photo by the author. 13 April 2005. 

Ingram Duane F. Telephone Interview. 1 3 April 2005. 

Lockwood Park Observatory, Rockford Illinois. Park entrance. 

Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

Lockwood Park Observatory, Rockford Illinois. Safford Rd. entrance. 

Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

Lucas Eileen “City’s Public Observatory to Open Soon” Rockford Register Star Friday, 

1 9 December 1 980 Page B4 

“Observatory is Ready for its First Stargazers” Rockford Register Star 27 February 

Picture from article of Rockford Morning Star newspaper. President of RAA. 

Rockford, IL. Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archive. Date of photo unknown. 

Breceda 1 1 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. A little boy looking in the telescope. 
Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. Focusing the telescope for children. 
Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. Inside the observatory. 
Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

Quarry Hill Observatory, Rockford, Illinois. Safford Rd. entrance. 

Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockford 
Park District Archives. Date of photo unknown. 

The Principal Entrance of the Lockwood Park. Safford Rd. Rockford, IL. 

Personal photo by the author. 13 April 2005. 

Wyatt, Craig “Six Graders Jump Gun in Planetarium” Rockford Register Star 

26 December 1973. 

Breceda 12 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. Focusing the telescope for children. 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. Inside the observatory. 


Breceda 13 

President of the Club Rockford Amateur, Inc. A little boy looking in the telescope. 

Loves Park Fire Station No.l 

400 Grand Ave. 

Sylvia Escobedo 
Rock Valley College 
Scott Fisher 
English 103 

Loves Park Fire Station No. 1 
400 Grand Ave. 

Escobedo - 1 

Loves Park Fire Station No.l on 400 Grand Ave in Loves Park, II. has been around since 
1948. Although that site is the present Loves Park Fire Station No.l it was not always so. In 1948 
when the building was first erected, it was a combination of fire/police departments and City Hall. 
The Mayor’s, Treasurer’s, and Fire/Police Chiefs offices were all held in the same building. The 
building had two - bays one for the police car and the other for the fire truck (Foley Interview). 

Roy E. York was appointed as the first Fire/Police Chief of Loves Park on September 2, 
1947. Within the month of September 1947 Mayor Burton and Chief York formed the Loves Park 
Fire Department, LPFD, and assumed full responsibility for handling all fire within its city limits. 
The LPFD was organized as an all-volunteer force because there were no funds for a paid 
department and has remained this way since (Campbell. Chief Roy E. York. 69). 

December 1948 group photo of the Loves Park 
volunteer fire department in front of Fire Station No.l 
on Grand Avenue (Campbell. 1948 Loves). 

Almost every household and business firm in Loves Park 

gave a contribution towards the fire engine. Getting a total of $10,000 they used $8,000 for the 
fire engine and the rest was put towards insurance and incidental “Loves Park to Get Fire 
Truck”). Alderman Ralph H. Schrock and Chief York returned to Loves Park with their new Fog 
Fire Engine on September 6, 1947. The new Fog Fire Engine had hose three-quarters of an inch in 
diameter on two reels, each carrying 250 feet, a 500-gallon booster tank, a 16-foot roof ladder, a 
10-foot aluminum ladder, and a 36-foot extension ladder(“Loves Park Now Protected”). 

Escobedo - 2 

On September 11, 1947 Mayor Burton and Roy W. Estell, Chairman for the City’s 
Finance Committee, announced a “building bee” to build the first municipal building on the 400 
block of Grand Ave. November 3, 1947 the city accepted the two lots that were offered by 
Nahum C. Bement, an early Loves Park resident who had operated the 1920s Bement Tractor Co., 
and agreed to purchase a third lot for $1,500 (Campbell. “Loves Park Municipal Building” 69). 
The building itself was not completely erected until September 13, 1948. The total cost of the 
building was $32,000, but through volunteer help and materials they saved $12,567, costing the 
city only $19,433 (Campbell. “The First City Hall” 69-70). 

Erection of the building (Campbell. 1948). 

Rockford and Loves Park Fire Departments came to an agreement on September 29, 1947 
that Rockford Firemen would no longer fight Loves Park fires. The only exception to this was if 
the neighboring city’s department called in or unless the Loves Park equipment was fighting a 
previous fire, had broken down, or did not respond for some other valid reason. According to the 
agreement between the two departments Loves Park would charge $75 an hour for the first hour 
and $25 for every hour thereafter in fighting fires outside of the city limits(“Rockford Firemen”). 

This is the way it stayed until April 1 958 when the City of Loves Park decided to get a 
new site for the Loves Park City Hall(Campbell. “New Loves Park City Hall” 94). After 
purchasing a new site for Loves Park City Hall on the comer of Park Drive and Dale Avenue, the 
old building became Loves Park Fire Station No.l. 

■ . 

Escobedo - 3 

Since 1947 to present Loves Park has only had eight City Fire Chiefs which include: Roy 
York 1947-1950; Charles Philips 1950-1954; Eugene R. O’Malley 1954-1968; Thomas Lindsay 
1968-1970; Dallas Boyle 1970-1980; Marlyn Ryall 1980-1980; Les Pherigo 1980-1981; and 
Philip Foley Jr. 1 98 1 -Present(Campbell. “City Fire Chiefs; Appendix 3" 151). 

As of today Loves Park Fire Station No.l has continued to be a volunteer fire station. It 
saves the city of Loves Park approximately $1.5 million per year in administrative and personnel 
costs. Chief Foley has computerized all of the department’s services including equipment 
monitoring and inventory, personnel, and pay-per-call record services. The department consists of 
four pumper companies, including one pumper-rescue unit, one truck company, an inspection van, 
a grass-fighting truck, and scuba van with a river-rescue drag boat. The Insurance Service 
Organization, ISO, has given the Loves Park Fire department and ISO rating of five, which is 
good(Campbell. “Loves Park Fire Department” 1 10). Loves Park Fire Station No.l has various 
kinds of Firefighters. They have ones who fix the pressure for the water, ones who actually go 
into the burning buildings, ones who extricate people from cars and other places, and they have 
those who drive the fire truck and clean up afterwards. Depending on the type of training that the 
firefighter has determines what they can and what they can not do. (Hullinger). 

As of right now there are only two women on the force. The Firefighters are assigned to a 
certain truck. They are all given pagers to hear when a fire call is put in. They must carry these 
pagers with them at all times and if one is damaged is had to be paid for out of their own 
expenses. When a call is put out the first 1 5 who arrive their get paid. The truck leaves with the 
firefighters who get there in the first five minutes after the call was made. 

Escobedo - 4 

1997 Loves Park Fire Department(Campbell. 1997. 1 10). 

On April 16, 2005 Loves Park Fire Department held their 30 th Anniversary for Firefighter 
of the Year Awards Banquet at the VFW in Loves Park. During this banquet they honored those 
who received Firefighter of the Year Awards and talked about the many great things that 
firefighters do. Firefighters of the Year from Loves Park Fire Station No.l were Firefighter 
Matthew Hullinger and Firefighter David Ancona (Firefighter. 1 6 April 2005). 

Starting From Left: Firefighter Ancona. Chief Foley Jr., and Firefighter Hullinger (Escobedo. 
Chief Philip Foley Jr. With Firefighters. 16 April 2005). 

As these Firefighters put there lives on the line for us we should appreciate what they do 
for our community. We might say that we appreciate our Firefighters and the service that they 
contribute to our community but do we really appreciate them or understand what they go 
through? “...I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents 
and family, not having the heart to tell them I nearly did not come back from the last call. I wish 

Escobedo - 5 

you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what I 
do, or as they express their attitudes of, ‘it will never happen to me.’ I wish you could realize the 
physical, emotional, and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep, and forgone social activities, in 
addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen. I wish you could know the brotherhood and self- 
satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone’s property, or being able to be there in 
time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.. ..Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you 
will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us... I 
wish you could though (Poem. 4 April 2005).” We need to support our Firefighters and Loves 
Park Fire Station No.l in every way possible. Help keep their equipment and training in top notch 
by giving a donation or just showing that showing some appreciation towards the Firefighters and 

Fire Station No.l. 


Escobedo - 6 

City of Loves Park Fire Department Charter 
Members 1947 (Escobedo. Plaque). 

duaj|l liuiusiaas || 




LL11L 1L fc'Clilll’C 

Li'v *(b 

Firefighter’s Badge (Escobedo. Firefighter’s Badge). 

Escobedo - 7 

A Firefighter’s Patch on their uniforms. There is one on each arm (Escobedo. Patch). 

(Escobedo. Peterbuilt Fire Engine). 

(Escobedo. Ladder Engine). 


MU 'i 


Escobedo - 8 

Loves Park’s current Fire Engine 
(Escobedo. Fire Engine). 

Right: Firefighter Matthew 
Left: Firefighter Jeremy 
(Escobedo. Matthew and Jeremy) 

Chief Philip Foley Jr. Speaking at the Firefighter of the Year 
Awards Banquet (Escobedo. Chief Philip Foley Jr. Speaking). 

Escobedo - 9 

Firefighter Matthew Hullinger with Firefighter of the 
Year Award in hand (Escobedo. Firefighter Matthew). 

Escobedo - 10 

Works Cited 

Campbell, Craig G. “1948 Laying of the Cornerstone to the Grand Avenue City Hall Building.” 
p.70. History of Loves Park. Illinois. City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “1948 Loves Park Volunteer Fire Department.” p.69. History of Loves Park, 
Illinois. City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “1997 Loves Park Fire Department.” p.l 10. History of Loves Park. Illinois. 
City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “City Fire Chiefs; Appendix 3" p.151. History of Loves Park, Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “Chief Roy E. York” p.69. History of Loves Park. Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “Loves Park Fire Department.” p. 1 10. History of Loves Park. Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “Loves Park Municipal Building.” p.69. History of Loves Park. Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “New Loves Park City Hall.” p.94. History of Loves Park, Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, 11.1998. 

Campbell, Craig G. “The First City Hall.” p.69-70. History of Loves Park. Illinois. 

City of Loves Park, II. 1998. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Chief Philip Foley Jr. Speaking at the Firefighter of the Year Awards Banquet. 
Sylvia’s Photo Album. 16 April 2005 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Chief Philip Foley Jr. With Firefighters of the year, Matthew D. Hullinger and 


Escobedo - 1 1 

David Ancona Jr. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 16 April 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Fire Engine. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Firefighter David Ancona Speaking at the Firefighter of the Year Awards 
Banquet. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 16April 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Firefighter Matthew Hullinger with Firefighter of the Year Award. 

16 April 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Firefighter’s Badge. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 16 April 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Firefighter’s Gear Rack. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Ladder Engine. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Loves Park Fire Station No. l's Sign. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Matthew and Jeremy Geared up in Front of the Fire Truck. Sylvia’s Photo 
Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Patch on Uniform. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 16 April 2005. 

Escobedo. Sylvia. Peterbuilt Fire Engine. Sylvia’s Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Escobedo, Sylvia. Plaque: City of Loves Park Fire Department Charter Members 1947. Sylvia’s 
Photo Album. 15 March 2005. 

Firefighter of the Year Awards Banquet. Loves Park, II. 16 April 2005. 

Foley Jr., Chief Philip. Personal Interview. Love Park Fire Station No.l. Loves Park, II. 

15 March 2005. 

Hullinger, Firefighter Matthew. Personal Interview. Loves Park fire Station No.l. Loves Park, II. 

15 March 2005. 

Escobedo - 12 

“Loves Park Now Protected By Modem Fog Fire Engine.” Rockford Star. Rockfordiana Files, 
Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 6 September 1947. 

“Loves Park to Get Fire Truck.” Rockford Register Star. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford public 
Library Reference Section. 2 September 1947. 

Poem For Firefighters . Author Unknown. Posted by: Gerry Dworkin. 1 3 September 200 1 . 

Online Database. 4 April 2005. 
“Rockford Firemen No Longer Will Fight Loves Park Fires.” Rockford Star. Rockfordiana Files, 
Rockford PubHc Library Reference Section. 30 September 1947. 

Totten 1 

Jeff Totten 

English 103, Section RRM 
21 April 2005 

Is Marinelli Field Close to Death? 

There is nothing like going to a baseball game on a beautiful summer evening. 
Many baseball fans around the area once went to Marinelli Field and watched the River 
Hawks slug it out with whichever opponent they were trying to conquer. Now the River 
Hawks are departing from the use of this beautiful stadium which is extremely rich in 
history. What will be the use of Marinelli Field now that the River Hawks are gone? 

Marinelli field is located at Black Hawk Park off of 1 5 Avenue in Rockford, 
Illinois. The stadium looks like a typical baseball stadium. It has the capacity to hold 
4,000 screaming fans with netting behind home plate to protect the fans from line drive 
foul balls. The stadium also has lighting for night games. During baseball season the 
field is manicured to the beauty of any other Major League ball park. The stadium itself 
is nothing more than the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more to be found within 
the history of the soil and grass that lies upon the earth. 

The city of Rockford is looked at by baseball historians as the “Cradle of the 
National Game in the West” because Rockford had one of the first professional baseball 
teams and had the first minor league baseball team. The first game of baseball played in 
Rockford took place in a field at the corner of N. Church and Whitman Street in 1865. 
This was only the beginning to the birth of baseball in the Rockford area which grew at a 
rapid rate during the later half of the 19 th century. Also in that same year, the Forest City 
Baseball Club of was organized. The Forest Citys were not nationally recognized until 
July 5, 1867 when they defeated the Washington Nationals, which was considered to be 


the best team in the country. However, the defeat came to such a surprise that the 
Chicago Tribune insisted that the game was “thrown”, which was entirely false. In 1871, 
the Forest Citys, which featured Albert Spalding, who would become a future Hall of 
Famer, became a member of the National Association of Professional Base-Ball Players 
Unfortunately in 1871 Albert Spalding joined the Boston Red Sox which caused the 
Forest Citys to downward spiral and, after that season, they were thrown out of existence. 
A year after the Forest Citys’ demise, the league known as the National League which 
included the teams the Rockford team once played, continued without Rockford. 

Although there is not any record of these teams using Black Hawk Park, which is now 
known as Marinelli Field, to play their games, this started baseball fever which became 
uncontrollable as the years went on (Griswold). 

From 1919 to 1921, Black Hawk Park was home to a small zoo which had an 
elephant, a buffalo, Bengal tigers, monkeys and other small animals. People were not 
interested in the zoo and it folded. When the zoo left, it didn’t take the elephant with 
them. The elephant was shortly thereafter sold to a circus. The area that once was 
occupied by the zoo was now being used by area residents for recreation, which included 
friendly games of baseball (Griswold). 

After organized baseball had been absent for 20 years, the Rockford Peaches were 
playing baseball in 1943. The Rockford Peaches were a woman’s professional baseball 
team which called Beyer Stadium their home. While the Rockford Peaces were playing 
ball, there was another professional team playing also. In 1947, The Rockford Rox began 
play in the Class C Western Association as a farm club to the Cincinnati Reds. Their 
home was Beyer Field which as a few blocks away from Black Hawk Park and right next 


to Beyer Stadium where the Peaches played. The Rockford Rox only lasted two seasons 
and folded in 1948. Six years later the Rockford Peaches were cut out of existence as 
well because of lack of attendance. For the next years there would not be professional 
baseball in Rockford. 

There may not have been professional baseball in that 39-year span but there was 
amateur baseball. One of the best amateur baseball teams in the area was the Black 
Hawks who were founded in 1947 by the Blackhawk Athletic Club. In 1961 a handsome, 
athletic looking man joined the Blackhawks. His name was Lou Marinelli. Lou Marinelli 
looked as if he was made to wear a baseball uniform. Nobody associated with the ball 
club could begin to realize how important he was going to be to baseball in the Rockford 

Lou Marinelli was born in 1935 to Leonard and Velia Marinelli, who were both 
immigrants from Ferentino, Italy. While he was a young boy he played sandlot ball for 
the Rockford Jayees’ Little League. This was the spark to the fire that would eventually 
create a man so dedicated to baseball that he changed the way one city looked at the sport 
(Rockford’s Field). 

He grew up during the same era the Rockford Peaches and the Rockford Rox 
were playing down at Beyers Field. He was so obsessed with baseball that he would miss 
meals with his family constantly. “In Italian families, Sunday dinner’s the big meal of 
the week and everybody in the family comes,” says younger brother Frank “I sometimes 
questioned Louise priorities — that playing baseball was more important than being with 
family.”(Rockford’s Field). 


He played right field for Rockford’s West High School and was looked at as one 
of the school’s top players. He tried out to play for his favorite team, the Cleveland 
Indians, when a scout from the team was in Rockford. He might have gone on to the 
majors, but he decided not too. He was asked to come back but his friend was not given 
the same offer so he never went back. 

Marinelli graduated from high school in 1952 and attended Northern Illinois 
University in Dekalb where he met his future wife, Betty. He left NIU after his freshman 
year and joined the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman at Illinois’ Great Lakes Naval 
Academy. While he was in the navy, he played baseball all around the country. He was 


one of the best players on the team and helped lead the team to the 9 Naval District 
baseball championship. 

After he left the navy, Marinelli played Kishwaukee Valley League baseball with 
the Rockford White Eagles until their demise in 1961 . He then joined the Rockford 
Blackhawks and began to write his legacy. “His dream was to play in the majors”, says 
Betty. “He did the next best thing he could, playing for the Blackhawks. He played for 
the love of the game, not the love of the money.” (Rockford’s Field). 

The Blackhawks, soon after Marinelli’s arrival, joined the Kishwaukee Valley 
League and took over the division, destroying any opponent that would get in their way 
between 1962 and 1975. In 1963 he took over as manager of the Blackhawks and over 
his career, as the Blackhawks skipper, compiled a 264-70 record. Marinelli was the main 
reason for the Blackhawks success. They won back-to-back state American Amateur 
Baseball Congress (AABC) championships in 1969 and 1970. 

Totten 5 

When Marinelli first joined the Blackhawks, Blackhawk Park baseball diamond 
had nothing except for a fence which surrounded the outfield. One of his main objectives 
was to create a good baseball field that all could use. It was Marinelli who was 
responsible for getting the diamond grass in the infield, dugouts, warning track and lights. 
He would go before the park board over and over until they gave him what he wanted. 

He was down at the Park district so often he was looked at like an employee (Rockford’s 

Unfortunately on July 14, 1971, Lou Marinelli died from lymphatic cancer at the 
young age of 36. Soon after his death. The Rockford Park District unanimously voted to 
rename Blackhawk Park’s baseball diamond Louis F. Marinelli Field in his memory. 
After all, his ambition and persistence was the main reason why the park was revamped. 

In 1987, the Rockford Park District got a 1.5 million dollar loan to create a 
stadium that would surround Marinelli Field. The reason this was done was because 
Marinelli Field was going to be used by a minor league team. This created another 
problem. If a minor league baseball team were to use the stadium then alcohol must 
surely be sold. However, the Rockford Park District did not allow the sale of alcohol on 
its premises. Commissioners eventually voted to allow the sales of beer and wine at the 
stadium which marked the first time alcohol was allowed for sale by the Rockford Park 
District (Barrie). 

Lou Marinelli believed that Rockford would not support a professional baseball 
team if it were to come to Rockford. This did not detour the Montreal Expos when they 
placed their Midwest League Class A team in Rockford. The Expos lasted only five 
seasons and were seeing, at best, moderate support. In 1993 they were replaced by the 



Rockford Royals and from 1995 through 1998 the Cubs placed one of their minor league 
teams in Rockford which was known as the Rockford Cubbies. After the Cubbies 
departed from Rockford, they were replaced by the Reds in 1999 which only lasted one 
season before they moved to Dayton, Ohio. The reason why these teams came and went 
so quickly was not because of how much support they were receiving but instead they 
were lured away by other cities that promised them multi-million dollar stadiums that 
would attract large attendances. Rockford could not compete when these ball clubs were 
given such a bright promise for their future. It did not take much thought for these ball 
clubs to just pick up and move. 

In 2002 the Rockford RiverHawks used Marinelli Field as their home. The River 
Hawks are part of the independent Frontier League of Professional Baseball. Unlike the 
other teams that came to Rockford, the RiverHawks were surprisingly supported. They 
drew more than 2,000 fans per game during there first two years of existence. They are 
also the first professional baseball team in Rockford’s history to such a large audience 
and increase its attendance from the first to the second year. The immediate success did 
not come without a price for Marinelli Field. The RiverHawks are on the move to their 
new stadium, which is located off of Riverside Drive east of Interstate 90, during the 
2005 season. 

Like an aging woman, Marinelli Field must let go of the baseball team which she 
helped give birth. Because there will not be a professional baseball team using Marinelli 
Field does not mean that the stadium is anywhere near death. She is merely going into 
retirement. She just will not be as active as she used to be. The stadium will still be in 
by the Marcello Juarez Mexican American League, Rockford Park District adult men’s 


leagues and for occasional high school and college games. The stadium will likely not be 
used for another professional baseball team because the market is just not big enough for 

Marinelli Field has seen the faces of thousand upon thousands of baseball players. 
Some of which actually made it to the big leagues including Johnny Damon, current 
Boston Red Sox outfielder and Jon Garland, a current White Sox starting pitcher. Given 
enough time all empires will fall and all baseball stadiums will eventually rust and 
crumble. Marinelli Field is not close to death and will not disappear anytime soon. Lou 
Marinelli would not have been upset to find out he was wrong when he said that 
Rockford would not support a professional baseball team. 

1 ■ 


Works Cited 

Barrie, Vance. Rockford Park District Marketing Manager. Personal Interview. 12 April 

“Baseball Comes to Rockford.” Rockford Register Star . 7/15/75. 10 Feb 2005. 

Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library. 

“Board Says Play Ball.” Rockford Register Star. 6/87. 24 February 2005. Rockford 
Park District. 

Griswold, Ken. Baseball in Rockford . Arcadia Publishing. Chicago, IL. 2003. 
Marinelli, Lou. Photo. Senior Courier . 10/97. Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public 

“Marinelli Field.” 08 October 2003. Rockford Park District. 
Marinelli Field. Photo. No Specific Date. Rockford Park District. 

“Marinelli Field Honors Blackhawks late Manager.” Rockford Register Star . 4/88. 

24 Feb 2005. Rockford Park District. 

“Old Timer Offers Insight.” Rockford Journal . 7/87. 24 February 2005. Rockford Park 

“RiverHawks to Open New Loves Park Stadium in 2005.” RiverHawks Professional 
Baseball. 11/03. 24 Feb 2005. Rockford Park District. 

“Rockford’s Field of Dreams: Remembering Lou Marinelli.” Senior Courier . 10/97. 
Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library. 








“Rockford Was First in Major, Minor Leagues.” Rockford Register Star . 4/1988. 

24 Feb2005. Rockford Park District. 





Scenes from yesteryear 

Weber 1 

Sue Weber 
Professor Fisher 
English 103 
21 April 2005 

Masons in Winnebago County 

The Masonic organizations in Winnebago County are not a secret. They help 
each individual member become a better person and they make things a little easier for 
others in the community. 

The Masons, or Freemasons, as they are sometimes referred to, is a fraternity of a 
group of men that meet in a ‘ Lodge” or “Temple,” which references a room or building 
(Masonic Information Center). Sometimes the Lodge is spoken of as a Blue Lodge, 
where in ancient times the color blue was associated with truth, deity, wisdom and hope 
(Grand Lodge A.F. & A M. of the State of Illinois). 

The trademark of the fraternity is a square and a compass as it can be seen on 
Appendix A. The square symbolizes things of the earth, and it also symbolizes honor, 
integrity, truthfulness, and the other ways we should relate to this world and the people in 
it. The compass symbolizes things of the spirit, and the importance of a well-developed 
spiritual life, and also the importance of self-control for keeping ourselves within bounds. 
The “G” in the middle stands for Geometry, the science of which the ancients believed 
most revealed the glory of God and His works in the heavens, and it also stands for God, 
who must be at the center of all our thoughts and of all our efforts (Masonic Information 




Weber 2 

There are many authentic historical documents that established a group of Masons 
during the Middle Ages (Waite xxxiii). Appendix B is a picture of the Medieval Masons 
working with the traditional tools, such as a square, chisel, heavy maul and plum-rule. 
Their own secret knowledge of architecture and building Egypt and beyond, were 
essential in the construction of Europe's churches and cathedrals. During the period of 
the late Middle Ages when opposition to the Holy Roman Universal (Catholic) church 
was forced deep underground, the trades people were able to move freely and meet in 
their halls or “lodges” throughout Europe (Marrs 242-243). The organized group was 
known as the Free and Accepted Masons (W r aite xxxiii). 

In Europe the Masonic Lodge in Edinburgh Number One has minutes of a 
meeting going back to 1599 (Waite xxxiv). The word Freemason has shown up in a 
paper referencing something like chemistry' that was studied in the Middle Ages dating 
back to the 1450’s (Marrs 244). However, the first official “Mother Grand Lodge of the 
World” was established in 1717 by four lodges in England when they met in London. 
From that point on there was a wide spread of jurisdiction with each country establishing 
a Grand Lodge which would recognize and govern the iocal iodges in a geographical area 
(Waite xxxiv). 

Masonry' came to Mexico in 1 802. The earliest member was Don Miguel 
Hidalgo, a parish priest of the town of Dolores. In 1810 he gathered the peasants and 
started a Mexican revolution against Spain. Freemasonry' had a tremendous influence in 
the liberation of Spanish-speaking nations. Since then all leaders of Mexico have been 
Masons (Waite xxxv). 



.(vxxx atm W) snoasM 

Weber 3 

In 1738 was the beginning for Freemasonry in Canada (Masonic Information 
Center). It has also spread to Africa, Asia and Australia (Freemasonry 52, 54-55). 

The first lodge in the United States was founded in Philadelphia in 1730 with 
Benjamin Franklin being a member (Columbia Encyclopedia). Today there are 1 3,200 
Lodges with a Grand Lodge in each of all fifty states with an estimate of four million 
members (Masonic Information Center; A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry xxxiv ). 

There have been thirteen presidents and eight vice-presidents of the United States, 
and forty-two Justices of the Supreme Court belonging to the Masons. The following list 
contains names of other notable Masons: 

Eddy Arnold 

Benjamin Franklin 

William McKinley 

Roy Acuff 

Clark Gable 

Lauritz Melchior 

Edwin “Buzz” Alden 

Benjamin Gilman 

James Monroe 

Gene Autry 

John Glenn 

Wolfgang A. Mozart 

L. Van Beethoven 

Arthur Godfrey 

Arnold Palmer 

Irving Berlin 

Barry Goldwater 

Dr. Norman V. Peale 

Simon Bolivar 

John Hancock 

J.C. Penney 

Gutzon Borglum 

Harry Hershfield 

John Pershing 

Ernest Borgnine 

Harry Houdini 

Eddie Rickenbacker 

Omar Bradley 

Sam Houston 

Branch Rickey 

Richard E. Byrd 

Hubert H. Humphrey 

Will Rogers 

DeWitt Clinton 

Burl Ives 

Theodore Roosevelt 

Ty Cobb 

Andrew Jackson 

Franklin D. Roosevelt 

George M. Cohan 

A1 Jolson 

David Samoff 

Davy Crockett 

John Paul Jones 

Jean Sibelius 

Norm Crosby 

Jack Kemp 

Red Skelton 

Cecil B. deMille 

Rudyard Kipling 

John Philip Sousa 

Jack Dempsey 

Marquis de Lafayette 

Danny Thomas 

John Diefenbaker 

Fiorello LaGuardia 

Dave Thomas 

Jimmy Doolittle 

Charles A. Lindbergh 

Lowell Thomas 

Duke Ellington 

Douglas MacArthur 

Harry' S. Truman 

Sir Alexander Fleming 

George C. Marshall 

George Washington 

Gerald R. Ford 

Thurgood Marshall 

Thomas J. Watson 

Henry Ford 

Charles W. Mayo 

John Wayne 

(Masonic Information Center) 

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51 Usi&D 

Weber 4 

Masonry is dedicated to making the world a better place by making good men, 
better men; by strengthening their character, improving their moral and spiritual outlook 
and broadening their mental horizons. It teaches men the principles of personal 
responsibility and righteousness through the understanding of Freemasonry's character 
and how to put these lessons into practice in daily life (Grand Lodge of Illinois ). 
Universal peace is possible by teaching a doctrine through the ""Brotherhood of Man 
under the Fatherhood of God,” hence the calling of each other ""Brothers”(Masonic 
Information Center). 

A candidate for membership needs only be a man of legal age and believe in a 
Supreme Being. The specific doctrines to which he subscribes are no concern of his 
lodge (Hunter 8). 

A prospective member must seek out a Mason and inquire about joining the 
fraternity. This is the first Masonic lesson the man learns, that knowledge, like 
membership in the Craft, as Freemasonry is often called, is something he must actively 
seek (Hunter 206). Every man that applies for membership must be initiated. To the 
Masons, the word initiation signifies a person who has made a new beginning and has 
traveled a path of experience where they have never before gone ( Waite 395). 

The ritual is the foundation of Masonry. There have been alterations to it over the 
years, but all efforts have been made to preserve the spirit of the ritual. It is published in 
a pocket-sized book barely a half-inch thick. The ritual specifies the order of events for 
the three initiation levels of membership. It contains the words spoken by the various 
participants and stage directions to guide them in their actions. The members of the 
initiating team either memorize their parts or read them verbatim from a copy of the 

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Weber 5 

ritual. A member will prompt another member when faltering in their part of the ritual 
(Hunter 9). 

The following list are the names for the three “degrees” of stages or levels of 
membership that were derived from the craft guilds of the Middle Ages: 

( 1 ) Entered Apprentice (Fellow of the Craft) 

(2) Fellowcraft (Fellow of the Craft or Journeyman) 

(3 ) Master Mason ( Master of the Craft ). 

(Masonic Information Center) 

Each degree is a different play containing scripture from the Bible that the 
candidate is expected to participate in at three different meetings. The new member will 
be expected to learn a catechism that summarizes parts of his initiation. When he lias 
completed the required task of memorizing the next degree work, he then can proceed to 
the next level of membership. The ceremony for each degree has the same format; only 
different symbols and lessons are presented (Hunter 10). Freemasonry teaches through 
allegories, which means fhe telling of a story in w hich people, things and events have a 
symbolic meaning of moral pnncipals or explaining ideas (Hunter 202). At the 
completion of the third degree the initiate has earned the title of a full-fledged Mason 
(Hunter 10). 

As a man experiences the lessons of each degree, he is learning great lessons of 
life. It is important to have honor and integrity and be a man that others can rely on as 
being trusting and trustworthy. It becomes apparent to him that knowing how to keep 
things confidential will help others to “open up” without fear. He realizes that there is a 
spiritual nature as well as a physical and animal nature that needs self-control. The 
greatest of all things learned is how to love and be loved (Masonic Information Center). 

• . . 

Weber 6 

Upon taking the oath with his hand on the Bible he becomes a Mason. The 
Worshipful Master, another name for president, presents the new member with a 
lambskin apron and shows him the password and handshake of recognition. 

Stonemasons centuries ago wore ieather aprons to carry their tools and io protect 
themselves from flying chips of stone. This custom was adopted by the modem Masons 
and is a required piece of attire. Sometimes these aprons can be elaborately decorated or 
embroidered, to show the members pride in their accomplishments within his fraternity 
(Masonic Information Center). 

When a member is voted in as holding an office within the lodge, he is presented 
with a medallion to hang around his neck that represents his station. The Worshipful 
Master wears a medallion and has the insignia of a black top hat. For a short time he 
holds the office of being the leader to open and close the meetings, but he is no better 
than any other brother. Appendix C is Brother David Miller, the Most Worshipful Grand 
Master for the Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois, 2005, wearing 
the medallion, apron and holding his hat. For a comparison, he gives guidance to the 
Masons of Illinois, such as Governor Blagojevich rules Illinois government. 

Appendix D is a diagram of a lodge meeting room with the names of the offices. 
Following is a list of those offices and the duties associated with it: 

Worshipful Master 


1 st Vice President 

2 nd Vice President 

Senior Warden 
Junior Warden 

Takes minutes, roll call, and pays bills 

Attends to all visiting Brothers 
Responsible for the Altar 
Prepare candidates for Degrees 
Prepares and presents candidates for 


Junior Deacon 
Senior Deacon 
Junior Stewart 
Senior Stewart 


t rw/ileo 


Weber 7 

Marshall Doorman of the preparation room for the 


Chaplain Opens and closes meetings with prayer 

Tiler Guards the door of the meeting room so 

No unauthorized persons may enter 

The Worshipful Master sits in the east as a symbolic suggestion to where the sun rises to 
start each new day. However, with his eminence he opens and governs the meetings. 

The Senior Warden sits in the west, representing the ending of the day, or closing of the 
meetings and is an assistant to the Worshipful Master in governing the meetings. The 
Junior Warden sits in the south depicting the Meridian Height or middle of the day. 
Across from him is north where the brothers at large are seated representing the laborers. 
The Junior Warden seated in the south is responsible for the instructions to the brothers 
that labor will now cease and refreshments will follow. 

Freemasonry has existed for over three hundred years. During this time period 
many religious leaders have felt it appropriate to become part of the fraternity, finding no 
conflict between the teachings of their faith and the teachings of the fraternity (King). 
However, there has been direct opposition to this way of thinking by some denominations 
since the conception of Freemasonry. Is it because they feel the fraternity is another 
source of ministry and are in direct competition with this organization? Mr. Tom Gipe 
recently experienced the wrath of his church affiliates for being a Mason. In his personal 
interview he reasoned that it all stemmed from lack of knowledge. That one person's 
opinion was being preached and believed by the majority. Possibly, another point of 
conjuncture is that the church welcomes everyone and the Masons take applications to 
pick and choose their candidates for membership. Mr. Gipe believes that the mix up 
would be resolved if parishioners would learn more about the Fraternity, but if they are 



id- . 



Weber 8 

set in their beliefs and will not attempt to attain knowledge then there is not a thing a 
Mason can do to change their outlook. 

Freemasonry is an all male organization. Masculine values have been 
disappearing in the outside world, but within the lodge room they are preserved. There 
are women’s groups with Masonic connections. These include the Order of the Eastern 
Star, the Rainbow' Girls, Job’s Daughters and the Amaranth (Rich). These organizations 
follow a similar doctrine as the Masons. Like the all male organization these all female 
organizations play an important part in personal identity formation. 

African Americans are not welcome in the lodges, but Masonry for them began in 
Boston and spread to Philadelphia in 1785, with Prince Hall and fourteen other black 
Bostonians as the initiators. These lodges consisting of African Americans have spread 
across the United States and are known as the Prince Hall Masons (Hackett). In most 
states the Negro lodges are considered “clandestine” or “irregular.” This may change 
because there is a present stirring of conscience in some Grand Lodges to admit Negroes 
into their member lodges. All other racial groups, for example, Latin American, Oriental 
and American Indians are now freely admitted (Waite xxxv). 

The biggest controversy surrounding Freemasonry is that it is considered a secret 
society. When things are hidden it spurs up curiosity and flaunts images of conspiracy 
(Hunter 1). There are over 60,000 items on Masonic literature available for anyone to 
read (Hunter 4). Masonic jewelry is bought in shops on any main street and worn openly 
(Hunter 202). Yes, there are secrets of two different categories. The first are the ways in 
which a man can identify himself as a Mason, with handshakes and passwords. It stops 
unscrupulous people from passing themselves off as Masons to get assistance under false 

, ■ 

' V. , \ 


Weber 9 

pretenses. The second one is nothing more than the transformation a man experiences 
while going through the rituals. These changes literally cannot be talked about because 
what happened cannot be put into words. The Masonic secrets cannot (rather than “may 
not”) be told. For example, try describing that beautiful sunset that takes your breath 
away (Masonic Information Center). 

On April 28, 1840 the Grand Lodge of Illinois was founded. As of 1998 there are 
619 lodges in the State of Illinois with a membership of 94,335. The following list 
contains the local lodges in Winnebago County: 

Rockford E.F.W. Ellis No.633 Rockford Daylight Lodge No 564 

Roscoe No. 75 Winnebago No. 745 

(List of Lodges 38-42) 

In a personal interview with Mr. William (Butch) Binger he discussed in detail the 
history of Durand Lodge No. 302. Mr. Binger has been a Mason for thirty' years and the 
Secretary of that lodge for twenty-five. This lodge was constituted on October 20, 1859 
with membership dues in the amount of $5.00 compared to now at $35.00. Membership 
has had its ups and downs where in 1947 it topped at one hundred, and has dropped to 
fifty-five today (Binger; Durand Lodge No. 302). 

This local Durand Lodge has a small number of members, but the contributions 
given for the community is extensive. They donate thousands of dollars every year to 
support the following causes: 

Scholarships Sponsor a Baseball Team Eagle Scout Projects 

Pay Members Dues War Memorial at Center Park Ecumenical Group 

St. Jude’s 

Give to families in need due to finances or disasters 

Sponsor Pancake Breakfast for the Firefighters 

Make up Christmas Baskets for residents at the local Nursing Home 

Cherry Valley No. 173 
Loves Park No. 102 

Durand No. 302 
Pecatonica A.W. Rawson No. 145 


Weber 10 

Members will give of themselves for worthwhile causes, such as a blood drive. 

The Grand Lodge of Illinois, with the help of the local lodges, supports the 
Academic Bowl. Throughout the state high schools compete in this academic 
competition, similar to the television show Jeopardy. On March 5, 2005 Auburn High 
School in Rockford, Illinois placed second in the state. Also supported by the lodges in 
Illinois are a retirement home in Sullivan and a children's home in LaGrange, both in 
Illinois. Recently the Illinois Masonry has established a Foundation for the Prevention of 
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Children, which will train educators in intervention and 
support procedures to arrest this problem in our schools and among our youth (Grand 
Lodge of Illinois) 

Men wishing to explore further the allegory and symbolism learned in the Blue 
Lodges may join the Scottish Rite or the York Rite where they elaborate on the basic 
tenets of Freemasonry (Shriners International Headquarters). The membership of these 
two organizations support the 32 Degree Masonic Learning Centers for Children, 
Incorporated, one of which is located in Freeport, Illinois inside the Masonic Temple 
(Peer Review Committee Provides Positive Feedback). 

For those Masons who want to have fun, but still adhere to the principles of 
Freemasonry, they can join the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for 
North America, a/k/'as Shriners. These men have a distinctive symbol of a red fez (hat) 
with a black tassel. There are 191 Shrine Temples located throughout the United States, 
Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. These Nobles are usually seen in parades 
participating in the different units, such as Drum and Bugle Corps, Oriental Bands, Motor 
Patrols, Horse Patrols, and Clown Units. They also sponsor the Shrine Circus annually. 


mxi Jofild fi dtiw 

Weber 1 1 

Proceeds from their membership and fundraising goes to support the twenty-two Shriners 
Hospitals that treat children with spinal cord injuries, orthopedic problems, or severe 
bums. There is never a charge to the patient, parent or any third party for any service or 
medical treatment received at the hospitals, and no United States government funding of 
any kind is sought or accepted for any medical care or services provided (Shriners 
International Headquarters). 

Masonry is deeply involved with helping people, it spends more than $2 million 
dollars EVERY DA Y in the United States, just to make life a little easier (Masonic 
Information Center). 

Social groups are seeing a decline in membership. Masonic organizations are no 
exception. People have more options on how to spend their time then they did one 
hundred, fifty or even twenty years ago. People work more than they ever did before, 
especially in the United States, and this society has become consumed on entertainment. 
Electronics, such as computers and DVD’s has made social interaction no longer 
necessary to entertain us. When a group gathers it is usually for a specific interest or 
purpose, such as a sporting event or religion (Diamond Fall/Winter 2004 8). The Masons 
are trying to market themselves like a product to increase membership. There are four 
suggestions being given to the local lodges to reach this accomplishment: (1 ) Use clear 
messages focused on the benefits of Freemasonry, (2) Understand what men need with 
social research, (3) Improve the quality of our “product,” (4) Building awareness in the 
target markets and not just the community (Diamond Winter/Spring 2005 8). 

Freemasonry could use all good men over the age of eighteen that believes in a 
Supreme Being. The Masonic experience encourages members to become better men. 

i 2mud 

Weber 12 

better husbands, better fathers, and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the 
lodge help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values (Masonic 
Information Center). If membership is not of interest then attend some of the published 
fundraisers, such as the Shrine Circus. But, do not speak negatively about this 
worthwhile organization without searching for answers to its true purpose within the 
community. Remember, many citizens of Winnebago County have or will benefit from 
the Mason’s existence within their communities. 

In summary, Mr. Manly P. Hall wrote, “Freemasonry ... is not a creed or doctrine 
but a universal expression of Divine Wisdom ... revealing itself through a secret 
hierarchy of illumined minds (Marrs 261).” 

Weber 13 

Works Cited 

Binger, William. Personal Interview. 12 Mar 2005. 

Brother David Miller Most Worshipful Grand Master Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons 
of the State of Illinois. Grand Lodge of Illinois. 9 Mar 2005. 
Columbia Encyclopedia. Ed 6. 2005. 13 Feb 2005. 78 13 . 

Diagram of a Lodge. Masonic Information Center. What’s a Mason? n.d. 

Diamond, Eric Bro. “Marketing Masonry 101. How Branding Techniques Can Help 
Promote the Craft.” Illinois Freemasonry. Fall/Winter 2004 Vol. 10 - No. 4: 8-9 
— . “Marketing Masonry 101. Part II: Branding, Building Awareness & Rejuvenating the 
Craft.” Illinois Freemasonry. Winter/Spring 2005. Vol. 1 1 - No. 1 : 8-9 
Durand Lodge No. 302 A.F. & A M. “One Hundredth Anniversary.” 1959. 

Gipe, Tom. Personal Interview. 12 Mar 2005. 

Grand Lodge A.F. & A M. of the State of Illinois. “A Woman’s Introduction To 
Masonry.” n.d. 

Grand Lodge of Illinois. 9 Mar 2005. http.V/www. 
— . Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl. 9 Mar 2005. 
— . Illinois Masonic Home. 9 Mar 2005. .htm 
Hacket, David G. “The Prince Hall Masons and the African American Church: The 
Labors of Grand Master and Bishop James Walker Hood, 1831-1918.” Church 
History, Dec 2000. Vol. 69 No. 4: 770-802. 

Hamill, John, and Robert Gilbert. Eds. Freemasonry, A Celebration of the Craft. J. G. 

!I ; '..j:;-.,; /. ■ iorr:' ,; 3 

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Weber 14 

Press. 1998. 

Hunter, C. Bruce. Beneath the Stone: The Story of Masonic Secrecy. 1999. 

King, Edward L. Religious Objections: Preachers (?). 1998-2005. 13 Feb 2005. 
http://www.masonicinfo. com/preacher, htm 

List of Lodges. Masonic. Pantagraph Printing and Stationery Co. Bloomington, 

Illinois. 1998. 

Masonic Information Center. What’s a Mason? n.d. 

— . Who are the Masons? And What Do They Do? n.d. 

Medieval Masons. Hamill, John, and Robert Gilbert. Eds. Freemasonry, A Celebration of 
the Craft. J. G. Press. 1998. 

Peer Review Committee Provides Positive Feedback. The Northern Light A Window 
for Freemasonry. Feb 2005. Vol. 36 No. 1: 14-15. 

Rich, Paul. “Female Freemasons: Gender, Democracy and Fratemalism.” Journal of 
American Culture. Spring 1997. Vol. 20: 105-1 10. 

Shriners International Headquarters. Shriners. Tampa, FL. July 2002. 

— . Who are the Shriners and What is the Shrine?” Tampa, FL. July 2002. 

Trademark for the Fraternity. Masonic Information Center. What’s a Mason? n.d. 

Waite, Arthur Edward P.M., P.Z. A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 

Combined Ed. 2 Vol. 








This 12th century drawing of the building 
of the Tower of Babel, shows the working 
tools that are still used today in the 
symbolic workings of the speculative 
Craft . 

Haej dims voat a sir Ritvt 
tjuu tin rontutum dr 
labtum, inuvcrlc, uinre 

SepEUagmFa 5uo gigaiircs ctmFra Dcum 










Hoover 1 

Sarah Hoover 
Eng. 103 TH 
Scott Fisher 

“Come on Down to the Octane!” 

An appealing place is located at 122 North Main Street (Octane Interlounge). It is 
called the Octane Lounge. Many businesses have occupied this space, but the Octane has 
been going strong for almost ten years. It is in the heart of the downtown Rockford area 
and even has a ghost that dwells inside its walls. 

The Octane is located on North Main Street. It is right next to the New American 
Theatre and is in the same area as the Rockford Public Library. At night, it is beautifully 
lit with lots of neon signs and chandeliers (Octane). In the summer people can sit on park 
benches or at the tables outside the Octane to enjoy a drink. Entering the Octane, one is 
greeted with a bunch of “eye candy.” There are many things to gaze upon. 

The walls are bright with colors such as red or yellow. Different local artists are 
featured at a time and decorate their walls with huge canvases filled with imagination. 
Sarah Hoover recalls many intricate canvases throughout the years. She says, “The art 
Octane features is very original and exciting. There have been canvases filled with dark 
characters from Alice in Wonderland and portraits of old, famous movie stars. My 
favorite was a gigantic canvas of an albino woman lying in a whirl of red texture.” The 
first thing people notice is the curve shaped, grey bar. This is where the heavenly, 
colorful drinks and delicious food are made. Long, plastic, tube lights fall from the 
ceiling and give off a greenish blue glow to them (Inside). The barstools are high and the 
employees’ smiles are wide. 

I! f 



Hoover 2 

There is also someone else walking inside the Octane besides the friendly customers 
and staff. Many people believe that a ghost lives there. Many, if not all of the staff, have 
had some supernatural encounter with the ghost. Erik, who has worked at the Octane for 
almost two years, once heard a faint whisper down the hall while working alone one night 
(Pierson). Pat, who has worked there for two years, recalls the oven knob in the kitchen 
turning on and off by itself (Alberto). Another worker named Ana Maria, who has 
worked at the Octane for one year, says one night while the stereo was playing, 
something strange happened. The stereo stopped and screaming came from the speakers. 
She also says that things in the backroom fall by themselves (Iancu). Megan, who has 
worked at the Octane for three years, says that while she was vacuuming the back hall, 
she heard screams and pans would fall over by themselves in the kitchen. She believes 
the ghost came into the Octane through an old painting from the 1900’s, but is not sure on 
an details about the painting (Grooms). 

There is one employee that has had a lot of experience with the ghost. His name is 
Jason and he has worked at the Octane from the beginning, eight years to be exact. He 
describes the ghost as a seventeen to eighteen year old woman who has long hair. She 
wears a spring or summer dress and might be from the 1960s or 70s. Jason says he 
usually sees her in the early morning around six or seven a.m. He has heard footsteps, felt 
someone’s presence beside him, and the door alarm has gone off while he is alone. He 
has also seen her out of his eye and in the window walking by the Fuzz Salon located 
inside the Octane (Williams). The people who want to visit Octane shouldn't be 
frightened though, it seems the ghost likes to only interact with the employees at night. If 
people are eager to see the ghost, they should come down and take a chance. 

, ■ ■ 


' :: 

Hoover 3 

Besides a ghost, there have been many businesses in and out of 122 North Main 
Street throughout the years. In 1923, Hart Oil Company moved in (Rockford 1923). The 
following year, a company called Culver and Fullmer took over (Rockford 1924) and in 
1925, Equitable Life insurance occupied the space. Finally a business that stuck moved 
into the building. In 1940, Robinson’s Women’s Clothing arrived and they stayed there 
until 1962 (Rockford 1940-62). In 1964, another women’s clothing store took over. They 
were called Shelby’s (Rockford 1964). 

Restaurants began dominating the occupancy of 122 North Main Street in 1967. Top 
Steakhouse and Divis IL. Company Inc. moved in and stayed until 1970 (Rockford 1967- 
70). Top Steakhouse left and Divis stayed. Accompanying them was the Down Towner 
Restaurant until 1 97 1 (Rockford 1967-71). In 1974 until 1975, the Akropolis Restaurant 
ran its business (Rockford 1974-75). The last restaurant before the Octane came in 1978. 
It was called Sir Sub (Rockford 1978). Between the years of 1993 and 96 there resided a 
drugstore and a bookstore (Williams). All of the years unaccounted for were when the 
building was vacant or the Rockford City Directory had no listing for any businesses 
there (Rockford 1928, 63, 65-66, 72-73, 76-93). In 1997, the Octane Lounge opened its 
doors and is currently still booming (Octane Interlounge). 

Don and Michelle are the owners of the Octane. They are the most important people 
regarding this site because they created the idea and the atmosphere of the Octane itself 
(Williams). Without them, none of this would have happened. They created a cozy place 
to go for lunch in the day, and a popular place to relax and unwind in the evening. The 
Octane receives great business in the downtown area. They get a lot of business from 
workers or people visiting a special event downtown, like at the Metro Center or the New 






1 ■» 



'IM ' 



■ • i 



Hoover 4 

American Theatre. Even if people have never been downtown, they should go check it 
out. The more variety of people, the better! 

The Octane Lounge is a happening place to go! “Don and Michelle chose to locate 
downtown because they support and enjoy the downtown scene” (Grooms). They have no 
new plans to renovate because it looks great already! They are very welcome to new 
faces and encourage anyone who has never been to the Octane or downtown to check it 
out! People can try something new and support the downtown area at the same time! 

They can even search for a ghost! The Octane has been running for almost ten years and 
they’re still kickin’, so support the downtown scene and come on down! 




Hoover 1 

Sarah Hoover 
Eng. 103 TH 
Scott Fisher 

4-20-05 Works Cited 

Alberto, James. Personal interview. 30 March 2005. 

Grooms, Megan. Personal interview. 30 March 2005. 

Iancu, Ana Maria. Personal interview. 30 March 2005. 

Inside Octane. Personal photo by Sarah Hoover. 19 March 2005. 

Hoover, Sarah. Personal Interview. 8 May 2005. 

Octane Interlounge. Online. 17 February 2005. . 

Octane. Personal photo by Sarah Hoover. 19 March 2005. 

Pierson, Erik. Personal interview. 30 March 2005. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 












Hoover 2 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1948. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1949. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1950. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1951. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1952. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1953. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1954. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1955. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1956. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1957. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1958. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1959. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1960. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1961. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1962. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1963. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1964. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1965. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1966. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1967. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1968. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1969. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1970. 



Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1971. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1972. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1973. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1974. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1975. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1976. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1977. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1978. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1979. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1980. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1981. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1984. 
Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1991. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1992. 

Rockford City Directory. R.L. Polk and Company Publishers: Detroit, MI, 1993. 

Williams, Jason. Personal interview. 30 March 2005. 

Steve Seidel 

English 103, Section DWX 
9 May 2005 

Seidel - 1 

Rockford Country Club: Local Treasure 

It was a cool afternoon, the sun was hidden behind thick clouds of gray. William 
A. Talcott paddled along the Rock River, eagerly explaining the new game of golf to an 
interested audience of church friends. As he passed an area of land known as the Eddy 
farm, he jumped up and pointed to the property and said, “There, my friends, is the ideal 
place for a country club” (McKinlay 7). This declaration by Talcott sparked the humble 
beginnings of the now well-known Rockford Country Club. The Rockford Country Club, 
founded over a hundred years ago, has continually set the standards for beauty, 
excellence, and a healthy social life by repeatedly reinventing itself to further improve the 
club’s reputation as a premier golf course. 

In order to fully appreciate a site’s achievements, one must first look at its history. 
The history of the Rockford Country Club is a rich and fascinating one. It all began at 
turn of the century, on September 16, 1899. William A. Talcott, after several months of 
discussions with a few of his close friends, held a meeting of eighty-three men and 
women who were interested in this crazy new sensation from Scotland known as golf. 
After a couple follow-up meetings, the club had elected a president, vice-president, 
secretary, treasurer, and captain of greens. They decided the cost of members to be 
fifteen dollars for an initiation fee along with another fifteen dollars to be paid annually. 
As the century ended, the Rockford Country Club (RCC) had gained a total of 149 
members (McKinlay 7-8). 

There were many people involved with the beginnings of this country club. A 


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. V 

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Seidel - 2 

man by the name of Herbert James Tweedie designed the magnificent 9-hole course in 
1899. He designed several other renowned Chicago area courses throughout his career. 
The first professional instructor at the course was Robert B. Bolton. He came to 
Rockford from a Dallas country club but was originally from Scotland. The first 
president, Captain John H. Sherratt, was another key founder of the RCC. He held 
several impressive positions in Rockford after returning from the Civil War. He was the 
president of an insurance company, president of a bank, president of Rockford College’s 
Board of Trustees, and most impressively, the mayor of Rockford starting in 1889. 
Respected by many people, his obituary even regarded him as the “ideal citizen” 
(McKinlay 9-10). 

The Rockford Country Club became somewhat of a landmark in the area. 

Visitors to Rockford were brought to the club, enjoying the beautiful view of the Rock 
River. The club soon became a social hot spot of the city. There were frequent 
receptions, dances, and parties so often it would be difficult to name them all on one 
page. The club gained a reputation of hosting the most original and fun-filled parties in 
town (McKinlay 22). 

Throughout the years, there have been many changes to the course and facilities. 
The first major change came about during the fall of 1914. The number of holes went 
from 9 to 18, making it an impressive 6,272 yards of entertaining golf. Some of the most 
striking holes were right along the Rock River, which truly added to the magnificence of 
the course. It was difficult to concentrate on the score when nature’s beauty is displayed 
so brilliantly (McKinlay 25). 

Seidel - 3 

As if that wasn’t enough, a new clubhouse was completed on August 12, 1915. 
At a cost of $25,000, the clubhouse was then able to throw even larger and more 
extravagant social parties for its members. Along with the new 9-hole addition, the 
Rockford Country Club was shaping up quite remarkably. Several things led to the 
country club's quick success and expansions. One was the accessibility of the course. 
Trolleys passed near a block from the entrance every ten minutes, and the landscaping 
next to the road leading to the course was pleasing to the eye, attracting to many 
motorists. It could also be reached by the Rock River, and also created a buzz as people 
passed by the course. Another leading factor to the club’s success is its location. The 
clubhouse is set up on a hill overlooking the river. It’s a Kodak moment, the setting is 
simply beautiful (“Golf Links”). 

Golf is not the only thing that people play at the Rockford Country Club. Tennis 
has been around since the beginning of the course. Tennis has been pretty popular with 
the members as one of several activities available to them, and it really became an 
excellent part of the facilities during the 1970’s. Under the management of Terry 
Johnson and Jim Marshall, the tennis program greatly improved in all areas. September 
of 1973 marked a new high in member participation for this now even more popular 
sport. Forty plus players competed within the club and against other country clubs 
around the area. Dubbed “A Whole New Ball Game,” an interesting tennis program 
came up consisting of 3 and Vi hours of tennis followed by a barbecue (McKinlay 3 1 ). 

Along with tennis, there is also a large swimming pool that has been on the 
grounds since 1932. There have been many changes to the pool since its conception, the 

•: r. ; ti ;• / 



Seidel - 4 

major ones being a reworking of the pumps system, filter system, and an addition that 
created a length of 75 feet (McKinlay 41). In addition to tennis and swimming, trap 
shooting, also known as skeet shooting, became a well-liked activity. It began in 1952 
and has increased in popularity ever since. With the intense interest, came changes for 
the skeet facilities as well. In the 1960’s the building doubled in size and included a lot 
of new accessories, including a gas furnace. Competition between clubs was a common 
occurrence, especially during the winter, because golf is unavailable. To this day the 
skeet shooting is still very popular among the members (McKinlay 61). 

An interesting event that the Rockford Country Club was very proud of is the 
circus that came to the grounds on October 1,1916. It is said to be the most successful 
and most complex event of its history. The staff of the RCC changed the clubhouse into 
a dazzling myriad of circus theatrics. The staff and numerous members were the 
performers, and they did a wonderful job. Some of the more interesting thrills were: 
snake charmers, giants, trained dogs, musical performances, and trained lions. As the 
show came to a close, wild cheers rose up in the audience for those in charge of the huge 
task of coordinating such a performance, Mrs. Fred Glover and Mrs. Robert Lathrop 
(Circus Thrills). 

There have been some very impressive golfers who were members of the 
Rockford Country Club. Mary Welsh was one of them. Among several tournament 
victories outside Rockford, Mary won the Rockford city tournament seven times. At one 
of the tournaments, she met her future husband, Alex Welsh. Alex may be Rockford’s 

Seidel - 5 

all-time best player. After bringing his Rockford High School and University of Illinois 
teams to several victories, Welsh won the Rockford men’s championship a staggering 
eight times, and four of those in a row from 1950-1953. He eventually gained a national 
status by qualifying for the National Open on several occasions. With dozens of victories 
under his belt, he also held the RCC course record for multiple years with an amazing 64 
in 1939 (McKinlay 59). 

The present facilities of the Rockford Country Club were conceived back in the 
1980s. The years of 1980-1982 marked the club’s most ambitious design plans to date. 
They dubbed the program the “Plans for Tomorrow.” Dozens of changes occurred 
throughout seemingly every aspect of the facilities. Costing a total of around $2. 1 
million, the adjustments served many purposes. The worn out main structure of the 
clubhouse was replaced with a dependable building that would last years. The changes 
also met various EPA regulations, reduced the price of insurance, enhanced employee 
conditions, and improved the overall attractiveness of the various branches of the club 
(McKinlay 78). 

Perhaps the foremost reason people recognize the Rockford Country Club is the 
fact that it held the Rockford Pro/Am Tournament from 1977-1995. Hundreds of 
professional golfers compete along with amateurs in a very entertaining form of golf. 
There are four amateurs in a group with one pro, the four amateurs play best ball and the 
pro golfer plays his own round. Throughout the years profits have gone to various local 
charities, on average earning $60,000 a year. As of 1999, the tournament has raised over 




Seidel - 6 

$1,250,000 dollars (RocVale). The most impressive year was 1982 where the largest 
crowd ever of 12,000 came to see Bob Hope play (Gable 10). Some of the other 
well-known players have been John Daly, Billy Mayfair, Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi 
Rodriguez, Curtis Strange, and Fred Couples (“A Look Back”). 

Things are not always picture perfect for Rockford golf. Some local women 
complained during the 1 994 season because they were given tee time restrictions. At the 
RCC, women cannot tee off on Saturday until noon and not on Sundays until 1 1 a.m. 
Similar restrictions apply at other local clubs, Forest Hills Country Club and Mauh-Nah- 
Tee-See. A Freeport course dropped their restrictions for women. Doug Winter, the 
president of Freeport Country Club says “Hey, these are the ‘90s.” Some women don’t 
seem to mind the restrictions though. Judy Mott, a RCC member says “We don’t have a 
problem. It’s the outsiders trying to stir up something, and I have no idea why they 
would care.” She is referring to one activist that wants these restrictions stopped, Rep. 
Louis Lang from a nearby town. When asked why she pursues the matter Louis answers 
“Because it’s wrong.” A business woman from Chicago, Cynthia Wilson says “These are 
not simply social clubs. Business is being done there and women are being excluded. On 
top of that, it’s offensive” (Teed Off). 

There have been many Winnebago County golf courses over the years. Some 
recent openings have been Westlake Village Golf Course in 1999, Alpine Hills Golf 
Course in 2000, and The Golf Club at Timber Pointe in 2003. Here are some of the main 


l' ' *J 1 

J; ■ i 


; : 

: . : 

Seidel - 7 

Winnebago County Golf Courses 

Country Clubs — all 18-hole courses: 

1899 Rockford Country Club 
1923 Harlem Hills Golf Club, now Forest Hills 
1927 Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club 
1964 The Ledges (northeast of Roscoe) 

Rockford Park District: 

1912 Sinnissippi (9 boles) 

1922 Ingersoll 
1929 Sandy Hollow’ 

1968 Elliot Park 

Winnebago County' Forest Preserve District: 
1931 Marktown (near Rockton) 

Privately-owTi ed fee courses: 

1961 Olympian Oaks (9 holes) 

1962 Red Barn Country Club (9 holes) 

There are a couple courses not listed there. Those are: Aldeen Golf Course, 
opened in 1992, and Atwood Golf Course in 1971. 

The 1990s brought all-time highs in the use of the RCC’s facilities. 1993 was the 
peak year, and the club had to increase their staff to adjust to the strains on the various 
programs. There have been many champions throughout the club's history but two of the 
best are Chris Beto and Nancy Switzer. Chris was the champion from 1991-1996 and 
Nancy was the women’s champion from 1991-1996 (McKinlay 90-91). 

With such a rich history and impressive statistics, the Rockford Country Club has 
consistently changed itself to maintain its reputation of a premier golf course. The 
centennial celebration was a big one, marking the 1 00 th anniversary of the course 
opening. Even after 100 years, the club still seeks to improve itself tirelessly, and has 
achieved a grand local reputation and even a small national recognition. William A. 
Talcott truly knew what he was doing when picking the location for a golf course. The 

; : 


Seidel - 8 

country club will continue to thrive in the future because of its outstanding staff and loyal 
members that have stayed with their course for so long. 



Seidel - 9 


Seidel - 10 

The Holiday 4-Some. These players would come to the course on every holiday, rain or 
snow. Pictured on July 4,1938. From left to right: E.K. Crawford, Don McDermaid, 

Red Thayer, and John Forbes. 

Group of rifle-toting women in front of the skeet-shooting facility 


1 : ! h(' 

Seidel - 1 1 

Captain John H. Sherratt 

William A. Talcott 


Seidel - 12 

Champion Golfers of RCC 

Left to right: Chris Beto, Nancey Switzer, and Scott Nicholas 

Centennial Celebration 

Left to right: General Chairman Bob Reitsch, Sharon Reitsch, RCC General Manager 
Dennis Panagopoulos, Yearbook Chairman Georganne Eggers, Chairmen of grand finale 

party Judy and Tom Mott 


Seidel - 13 

View of Clubhouse from the Rock River 

Curtis Strange in the 1988 Rockford Pro/Am Tournament 

Mike McChristie, assistant golf pro, and Steve Hogan, head golf pro 

Seidel - 14 

Seidel - 15 

1 l tfi hole 

Seidel - 16 

Aerial View 1954 

Seidel - 17 

Aerial View 1929 

Seidel - 18 

Rockford Country Club Clubhouse in 1915 

Seidel - 19 

Famous Rockford Golf Couple, Mary and Alex Welsh 
Left to right: Pat Abbott, Mary Welsh, and Lt. Alex Welsh 

Seidel - 20 

Early Clubhouse and Members 

Seidel - 21 

The Rockford Country Club pool 

Seidel - 22 

River Deck 

Grille Room 

Practice Green 

Seidel - 23 

Back Tees 























Middle Tees 











Mil mu 



























































Hole Number 







































































Forward Tees 























Score*: Atusl: D,n«. 

Rockford Country Club Scorecard 

Seidel - 24 

Reservations Required For All Events! 
(Calendar Subject to Minor Changes) 

M J 

Sun 2 “Dixieland" Brunch @ RCC, 11 am-2pm 

Sun 9 “Dixieland” Brunch @ RCC, 11 am-2pm 

Fri 21 Winter Blues Party 

Sun 16 “Dixieland” Brunch @ RCC, 1 1 am-2pm 

Sun 23 “Dixieland” Brunch © RCC, 1 1 am-2pm 

Sun 30 “Dixieland" Brunch @ RCC, 11 am-2pm 


Sun 6 Sunday Brunch @ FHCC, 11 am-2 pm 



Valentine Jam with “Men of Our Times” 



Mardi Gras Valentine’s Dinner, 6-9 pm 



Sunday Brunch © FHCC, 1 1 am - 2 pm 



Sunday Brunch © FHCC, 11 am-2 pm 



Boy's Night Out in River Room 

Sunday Brunch © FHCC, 1 1 am-2 pm 



Happy St Patricks Specials 



Comedy Night 



Children's Easter Egg Hunt 



Easter Sunday Brunch, 1 1 am-2 pm 

Apr 1 




Daylight Savings Time Begins (spring-forward!) 



Girl’s Night Out 



Annual Club Crawl (RCC>FHCC>MNTS) 



Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon Buffet 



Junior Sports Night, 6:00 pm 



International Buffet “Greek Night” 




Mother's Day Brunch, 11 am-2 pm 



Spring Menu & Wine Tasting Event 



Men’s BBQ Cooking Demo with Chef Michael 



ui\e . 

in Conjunction with “Boys Nigjrt Out” 
International Buffet “Night in Sicily" 






Fourth of July Celebration 
Oivot Oay Golf Play Day 
Men’s Golf Play Day & Steak BBQ 

Fri/Sat 5-6 








Men's Member/Member Tournament & Pool Party 
Swim Team Pool Party & Sleep Over 
Men’s Golf Play Day & Steak BBQ 
Friday Follies Couples Golf & BBQ 
Halverson Cup 























Men's Interclub Golf © MNTS 
“Comedy Night” 

Ryder Cup 

International Buffet “Oktoberfest" 
Rockford/Efgm Centennial Cup @ RCC 

Couples Chili Shoot-Out Golf Event 
Men’s Chili Shoot-Out Golf Event 
Autumn Menu & Wine Tasting Event 
Family Pumpkin Carving Contest 
Adult Hayride & Hot Dog Roast 
Children’s Halloween Luncheon 
Daylight Savings Time Ends (fall back!) 

Fri 11 Party For No Apparent Reason with “Men of Our Times’’ 

Thurs 24 Thanksgiving Day Buffet 

Thurs 1 


Family Night “ Santa Claus is Coming to Tom 
& Tree Lighting' 

Santa's Gingerbread Workshop 



Friday Follies Couples Golf & BBQ 



Dinner With Dickens 



Old Fashioned Family Picnic 



Breakfast With Santa 


Nelson Cup Member/Guest Tournament 



Christmas Concert with “Kantorei Boys Choir' 


Kid's Pool & Pizza Party 



Christmas Brunch 

Fri 23 “Staff Hosted” Holiday Reception, 6-9 pm 

Sat 31 New Year’s Eve 2004 

The 2005 Social Events Calendar 

Works Cited 

Seidel - 25 

"2005 Social Events Calendar." On & Off the Green March 2005. 

“6 th Hole.” Chris Welsh, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . 

By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 84. 
“11 th Hole.” Chris Welsh, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . 

By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning Company, 1 999. 85. 
“Aerial View 1929.” Albert Eggers Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 

Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 34. 

“Aerial View 1954.” Albert Eggers Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 

Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 57. 

“Captain John H. Sherratt.” Rockford College, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 

Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 9. 

“Centennial Celebration.” Nels Akerlund Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred 

Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The 
Donning Company, 1999. 98. 

“Champion Golfers of RCC.” Nels Akerlund Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred 
Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The 
Donning Company, 1999. 91. 

“Circus Thrills at Country Club.” Rockford Register Star. 1 October 1916. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 March 2005. 

Seidel - 26 

Crane, Sarah. Grille Room . Rockford. Rockford Country Club . 26 Mar. 2005 

Crane, Sarah. River Deck . Rockford. Rockford Country Club . 26 Mar. 2005 

“Curtis Strange.” Rockford Register Star, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 

Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 81. 

“Early Banquet Held Outside Clubhouse.” Rockford Country Club Collection, Rockford. 
Our First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. 
Virginia Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 19. 

“Early Clubhouse and Members.” Eugene Crawford Collection, Rockford. Our First 
Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 12. 

“Famous Rockford Golf Couple.” Mary Welsh Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred 
Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The 
Donning Company, 1999. 48. 

Gable, Roger B. Golf Scrapbook: Golf Courses of Winnebago County 1894-2000. 
Rockford, Illinois. 2000. 

“Golf Links are Among Finest in the West.” Rockford Register Star. 1 2 August 1915. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 March 2005. 

“Group of Early Members in 1905.” Rockford Country Club Collection, Rockford. Our 
First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 19. 



M 1 1 1 


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■ : • . . : : • • 


Seidel - 27 

“Group of Rifle-Toting Women.” Rockford Country Club Collection, Rockford. Our 

First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 91. 

“The Holiday 4-Some.” Mrs. John Forbes Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred 

Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The 
Donning Company, 1999. 47. 

“A Look Back at the first 22 Rockford Pro/Ams.” Rockford Register Star. 1 1 
July 1999. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 

Accessed 26 March 2005. 

McKinlay, Archibald. Our First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club. Donning 
Company Publishers. Virginia Beach, Virginia. 1999. 

“Mike McChristie.” Nels Akerlund Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 

Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 93. 

On and Off the Green: March 2005. Letter. March 2005. 

“Practice Green.” Rockford. Rockford Country Club . 26 Mar. 2005 

Rockford Country Club. Retrieved March 26, 2005, from 

“Rockford Country Club Clubhouse in 1915.” Albert Eggers Collection, Rockford. Our 
First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 24. 

I ■ • 


Seidel - 28 

“The Rockford Country Club Pool.” Rockford Country Club Collection, Rockford. Our 
First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 

“Rockford Country Club Scorecard.” Rockford. Rockford Country Club . 26 Mar. 2005 

“Roc Vale, CASA Named 1999 Beneficiaries by Pro/ Am Committee.” Rockford Register 
Star. 11 July 1999. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 
March 2005. 

“Teed Off.” Rockford Register Star. 26 June 1994. Rockfordiana Files. 

Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 March 2005. 

“View of Clubhouse from River.” Rockford Country Club Collection, Rockford. Our 

First Hundred Years: Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia 
Beach: The Donning Company, 1999. 89. 

William A. Talcott . Georganne Eggers Collection, Rockford. Our First Hundred Years: 
Rockford Country Club . By Archibald McKinlay. Virginia Beach: The Donning 
Company, 1999. 10. 

Hughes 1 

Ashley Hughes 
9 May 2005 
Scott Fisher 
English 103 DWX 

An Old Building and a New Marina 
The Rockford Marina is located on 313 Hill Street, Rockford, IL 
across the street from the Rock River (Rockford Marina Home Page). It is right 
across the street from the old Rockford Brewing Company building in which the 
marina was first located (Hughes, Brent). The Rockford Marina is owned by 
Megan Koch and the Rockford Brewing Company building is owned by her 
mother Diane Koch (Hughes, Lisa). It is a place where owners can dock their 
boats or jet skis in the warm months and store their boat in the cool winter 
months. The Rockford Marina also services and checks boats and jet skis by a 
well trained staff and even has a showroom and gift shop for those who may be 
in the market of buying a boat or jet ski or even merchandise such as life vests 
and wakeboards (Rockford Marina Home Page). 

When the Rockford Marina first opened in 2002 it was located in 
the old Rockford Brewing Company building which is located on the Rock 

Hughes 2 

River. The building is rich in Rockford history. The History of the brew house 
can be traced back to 1843 where President James K. Polk sold the land to 
Daniel Shaw Haight (Koch, Diane). The land was owned by many different 
owners from 1843 to 1848. The lot was then sold to Jonathan Peacock for the 
sum of two hundred dollars (Koch, Diane). Jonathan Peacock started building 
the building ini 848, where he began to brew Peacock Ale, an old local brewed 
beer that was said to be very good ("Rockford 1912"). Peacock became known 
for the purity of his beer and his fame spread (Koch, Diane). The business was 
booming. Another beer that was later made there was called Nikolob whose 
slogan was "The beer that made Milwaukee jealous" (Koch. Diane). 

By the time Jonathan Peacock died at age seventy-five, he was 
known as, “one of the wealthiest and best-known citizens of Rockford” (Koch, 
Diane). When he died, two of his sons Edwin and Frank took over the 
company and invested thirty-five thousand dollars on space and equipment. 
Edwin and Frank increased the annual production from six thousand barrels to 
twenty thousand barrels (Koch, Diane). After Frank Peacock died at only 29 
years of age, the business was soon sold in a public auction to John V. Petritz 
for thirty thousand dollars (Koch, Diane). 

In 1893, John V. Petritz founded the Rockford Brewing Company 
(Molyneaux). In 1918, during Prohibition, John V. Petritz and his son were 
arrested for bootlegging beer to Beloit, Wisconsin and were fined $250,000 
("City Sues Petritz for $250,000"). For weeks the court case was followed in 

Hughes 3 

the newspapers (Molyneaux). 

After Prohibition, the Rockford Brewing Company reopened and it 
was business like usual until the courts ordered the brewery and its real-estate 
to be put up for sale ( 1933 Rockford City Directory). 

On May 21, 1919 the brewery was sold and the name changed 
from the Rockford Brewing Company to the Rockford Storage Warehouse 
(Koch, Diane). During this time, the building was remodeled to make fireproof 
storage and special rooms were made for the storage of automobiles, pianos, 
household effects, and other thing people wanted to store (Koch, Diane). 

Some businesses that operated in the building were Sawyer Biscuit Co., 
Modern Wet Wash Laundry Co., Kaplan Envelope Co., and Theo Hamm 
Brewing Co. to name a few (Koch, Diane). 

In 1934, following Prohibition, John G. Petritz revived his father’s 
brewery. The beer that was manufactured there was called Petritz Beer, “Extra 
Fine Since ‘49” (Koch, Diane). The business went through bankruptcy in 1936 
because not as many people wanted to buy beer at the time and the business 
was sold again (Koch, Diane). 

Edward M. Fox bought the company in 1936 and set up the first 
cold storage locker system in Rockford (Koch, Diane). In 1937 Samuel Hirsch 
acquired the brewery from Fox and changed the name to the Rock River 
Brewing Company (Koch, Diane) The brand sold there was called Coronet Old 
Vat and Grand Prize, but the company could not stay open because of poor 

Hughes 4 

business and closed in 1939 (Koch, Diane). 

In 1945 R. A. Stormont and his wife Elsie bought a small part of the 
building and they set up a laundry business. The business grew to the point 
that it took up over half of the building (Koch, Diane). The building at this time 
had many different owners and shops inside the building. Another of these 
shops was an old guitar strap making business called Wayco Products 
(“Eclectic Brew of Artisan Shops Thrives Downtown”). This Shop made guitar 
straps that were sold all over the world. They even sold straps to many big 
named artists such as the late Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia, Bonnie Raitt, 
Ted Nugent, and John Bon Jovi ("Eclectic Brew of Artisan..."). "We send straps 
all over the world. All kinds of stars are using them" ("Eclectic Brew of 
Artisan..."). Up until the past fives, some of the businesses are still in the 
building (Koch, Diane). 

Megan and Diane Koch had a real interest in the building and 
some fascinating and positive plans for it to turn the upper floors into 
restaurants and apartments (Hughes, Brent). Diane purchased the building 
in 2000 and let her daughter, Megan and her Fiance, purchased some of the 
lower level and fixed up the ground floor into a showroom and gift shop. In 
2001, the Rockford Marina opened and sold refreshments, skis, 
wakeboards, kneeboards, swimsuits, and much other neat merchandise in 
the gift shop and boat docks (Hughes, Ashley). Megan had also built new 
docks and started on a boardwalk on the Rock River's edge with the help of 

Hughes 5 

her mother, Diane (Hughes, Brent). These plans were going to be a real 
positive step forward in helping the economy for Rockford by making new 
jobs and hopefully drawing more tourists into Rockford and creating more 
revenue (Hughes, Brent). But one rainy, wet summer in 2004 the plans 
changed for the Rockford Marina. The Rock River was too high for the 
boats to drive on and so the river had to be closed down for more than half 
of the summer (Hughes, Ashley). At this time, the boardwalk and many 
other renovations were taking place and Megan was hoping to make back 
some of the money that she had put into the marina. Since the Rock River 
was closed, the Rockford Marina did not get the sufficient amount of money 
and business to stay open in the Rockford Brewing Company building so the 
business had to move across the street to the building where they had 
originally just stored and fixed boats (Koch, Diane). 

The Rockford Marina has been known for its events and fundraisers 
such as the Freeze for Life fundraiser. This fundraiser is for the American 
Cancer Society and it is held in December (Freeze for Life). With Freeze 
for Life, people get together after raising money for the American Cancer 
Society and either ski, wakeboard, tube, or whatever the participants want 
to do on the water while being all bundled up in wetsuits and hats (Freeze 
for Life). In exchange for the donations, the Rockford Marina provides 
boats, hot tub, heaters, food, entertainment, drinks (non alcoholic), dry suits 
and equipment (if needed), and a fun environment. 

Hughes 6 

Another fun event at the Rockford Marina is called Wake Fest. It 
is a time where wakeboarders can come to meet some other of their fellow 
wakeboarders and ride on the Rock River. Wakeboarders can also try out 
new equipment provided by some of the top brand names in wakeboarding 
such as Inland Surfer, Liberation, O’Brien, and Trick Boards and get help 
and instruction on how to do new tricks (Rockford Marina Home Page). 
Everyone is invited to these events no matter what your skill level is 
(Rockford Marina Home Page). 

The Rockford Brewing Company building is still owned by 
Megan’s mother Diane, and is looking forward to future renovations and 
businesses to rent some of the space (Koch, Diane). Diane hopes to have 
at least one restaurant, some shops and maybe even some offices inside 
the building while having the top half of the building be apartments (Koch, 
Diane). It is uncertain when the restaurants and apartments will move into 
the building, because at this time, no one has rented out any of the space, 
but hopefully someone will soon (Koch, Diane). 

The Rockford Marina and the old Rockford Brewing Company 
building have great potential for having a positive effect on Rockford, IL. 

The Rockford Marina has had some setbacks, but the future of the marina 
looks bright and sunny. As for the old Rockford Brewing Company building, 
it sits waiting for someone to rent some of the space and put their time and 
interest into fixing up a wonderful building, space and location. 

Ashley Hughes 

26 April 2005 

Scott Fisher English 103 

Works Cited 

1918 Rockford City Directory . Rockford: n.p., 1918 
1933 Rockford City Directory . Rockford: n.p., 1933 
2002 Rockford City Directory . Rockford: n.p., 2002 
“Arrest Petritz and Son.” Rockford Register Gazette 28 Mar. 1918:2. 

Blachford, Stephen H. Photographer. 30 Mar. 2005 

“City Sues Petritz for $250,000.” Rockford Register Gazette 19 Mar. 1918: 16. 
Christian Degraaf. Midwest Wake Fest 2004 . 2000-2004 
“Eclectic Brew of Artisan Shops Thrives Downtown”. Rockfordiana Files. 1 945 
Hughes, Ashley J. Rockford. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 

Hughes, Brent R. Personal interview. 3 Apr. 2005 
Hughes, Lisa J. Personal interview. 1 Apr. 2005 
Koch, Diane. Personal interview. 10 Apr. 2005 
Koch, Megan. Marina Dock Slip . 3 Apr. 2005 aspx?tapid=28 
Koch, Megan. Marina Pro Shop . 3 Apr. 2005 1 1 0DEsktopDefault.aspx?tapid=26 
Koch, Megan. Rockford Marina Home Page . 3 Apr. 2005 
Molyneaux, John. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2005 

Philippi’s Rockford City Directory 1900-01 . Rockford: The L.P. Philippi Company, 


PHP BB Group Freeze for Life 9 July, 2004 : =836& 

“Rockford 1912”. Rockford, IL: Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 1912. 75. 
September 2002 Polk City Directory Rockford and Belvidere . Rockford: n.p., 2002 
The Republic’s: Rockford and Winnebago County Directory for 1902 . Keokuk, Iowa: 

The Republic Company, 1902. 

YyQ&isl for 




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Place for Miracles 

Stephanie Anderson 
04 - 23-05 
Prof. Scott Fisher 





Rockford memorial Neonatal Unit- 
Place for Miracles 

Having a premature infant can be a very traumatic event. During this time in 
center light is the infant. Back in the shadows there is a ray of light, which is the nurse. 
The nurse has to deal with the family as a whole unit, not just treating the infant. In the 
local hospital in Rockford, a special unit is not well publicized. This unit is located at 
Rockford Memorial Hospital; it is the NICU level III. 

. The main priority of the nurse is for the well being of the infant. The nurse is 
often a counselor for the parents, so they can deal with not having the perfect, healthy 
child to take home. The nurses have to teach the parents, the extra care the child needs 
when infants get sent home. The nurses in the NICU are in the background taking care of 
the tiny infants. The nursing staff are the “unsung hero's”. One important part of infant 
surviving is the nursing staff. The one-on-one contact involved in the care is a huge 
impact on how well the infant does. Touching the child frequently, holding the infant, 
feeding the infant, and rocking are all components in the nursing care. 

Here in Rockford a wonderful hospital has a special unit just for infants that need 
special care. The hospital opened up its doors back in 1885. At this time, it had only 10 
beds (Nelson 352). Now it has built up and improved so much so that it is one of the few 
hospitals that can care for very premature infants. In Illinois, there are only 1 0 hospitals 
equipped to deal with very premature infants. The NICU was opened in 1970, with 5-6 
beds. There were fewer than 300 admissions in the unit back in 1970. Most of them 
were one to two months premature. Today there are about 600 admissions a year and 
some as early as 23 weeks gestation. It has 40 beds in this special unit, highest 


designation (Rockford Memorial website). At Rockford Memorial Hospital, the survival 
rate of the tiniest infants is very high, 85% (Rockford Memorial website). One of the key 
factors in this successful outcome is the nursing staff at Rockford Memorial hospital. 

The nurses have special ways of helping the family during their traumatic time in 
the NICU. There is a general list of things that are practiced to help the whole family get 
through their visit to the unit. 

1. NICU environment is intensely emotional and stressful. Often an immediate 
response is required to new or inadequate information. Issues such as life and death 
crises, quality of life, and very dramatic episodes are interwoven with periods mundane 
monitoring and exhaustion (Martin 1 ). This writer has seen all this in motion at the unit, 
and the nursing staff was always present in the time of need (Anderson). 

2. In the NICU, decisions are generally made with the welfare of the child 
foremost. The parents are lower on the list of priorities (Martin 2). There are times when 
the parents get upset with different procedures being done. These procedures are 
essential to the babies well being. The babies have to have blood tests to check how the 
babies are progressing. It is hard for the parents to have to see the baby being stuck with 
a needle. The staff still tries to help the parents know why things are being done and how 
they will be done, to prepare the parents. 

3. The NICU environment is professional. Parents and babies are immersed in 
high technology and interact daily with specialists, doctors, nurses, and other 
professionals (Martin 2). Nurses are the go-between with the parents and the doctors. 
They help the parent understand what the doctors are talking about in simpler terms. 


Doctors can use medical terms, which hospital staff understand, the parents might not 
understand all the medical terms. 

4. The NICU environment is constantly changing. Parents and babies cope with 
an ever changing group of professionals. Increased parental involvement can provide 
greater continuity of care for the infant. Providing parents with a focal person can 
provide greater continuity for the parent in transfer of information and encouragement. 
The staff is usually assigned to one child during the child's stay. This way, only a few 
nurses are tending to the infant. This writer has seen how parents are encouraged to be 
involved in the child's care, by the nursing staff (Anderson 2). 

"Having a baby in the NICU is a roller coaster ride" says a nurse in an article 
(Maroney 4). Parents who have gone through the experience and trauma of having a 
preemie, all have good things to say about the nursing staff. Some things are 
recommended to help the parents get through this period. 

1. Keep the baby comfortable and as "normal" looking as possible. Give parents a 
few moments of feeling they have their own little baby, not a sick "preemie". Swaddling, 
noise reduction, soft music, dressing them, or even a small bow in their hair can mean the 
world to parents (Maroney 4). When this writer was in the unit, she witnessed all these 
things being done for the infants. 

2. Show parents that you are trying to understand their struggle by recognizing 
their feelings. Nurses can only do so much, but often just asking how the parents feel and 
validating their feelings is enough (Maroney 4). This is why the family is treated as a 
whole unit, not just the patient. The nurse has to work with the family which, in turn, 
helps the infant. 


3. Let parents have as much control as possible. You are working with a family, 
not just an infant. This makes the parent feel they are part of a team (Maroney 4-5). The 
parents are encouraged to help with the daily care of the infant if possible. 

4. Do extensive teaching and encourage home care (Maroney 5). There is a list of 
things that the parents must be able to do before they can take the baby home (Anderson). 
This prevents problems at home where there is no nursing staff available to as questions. 

The nursing staff at Rockford Memorial Hospital do a wonderful job taking care 
of the preemies. There are 90 nurses on staff. These nurses' only job is in the NICU. 

They are not transferred around to other units in the hospital. They go through a lot of 
specialized training to keep up with the latest advances in the care of infants. An 
important technique they use is having only two babies per nurse. That nurse will usually 
be assigned to that patient until they go home. This cuts down on the different people 
taking care of the infant. Each nurse has a rocking chair right by the infants that they 
care for. Whenever possible the nurse will hold the baby skin to skin, Kangarooing care 
(Larimer 1). All the nurses this writer spoke loved their job. They all had smiles on their 
faces and talked to the babies while handling them. There were no parents or people 
watching. The nurses put their hearts into their job. This technique improves the babies' 
long term out come (Anderson). 

The environment at Rockford Memorial NICU is wonderfully set up to be baby 
sensitive. Preemies need to have a lot of stimulus blocked out due to their neurological 
system is not matured (Peterson-Degroff 1 ).The babies' isolates are covered with blankets 
to keep out the unnecessary light. The voices of the staff members are always very low, 
not much above a whisper. Medical treatments and general procedures are done all at 


one time if possible. The babies are swaddled because this calms them down. The babies 
feel secure like they are in the mother's womb. In some cases, the infant is placed in a 
type of nest, with blankets surrounding them (Madden 3). Apply gentle pressure on the 
babys' back or chest with your open hand. This helps block out other stimulus, calm 
down, and organize himself (Madden 4). This is again the feeling of still being in the 
mother's womb. This is where this writer noted that the team had 4-hour blocks when the 
staff would try to do everything for the baby, diaper change, temperature, vital signs, and 
so on, all at the same time. Then the baby would feed then rocked to sleep. This gave 
the child about 3-4 hours of time without getting disturbed. Most of the babies had 
pacifiers as a type of distraction for the infant; it is a calming effect (Anderson). 

The 85% survival rate of the most critical of infants is a system that is a role 
model of other hospitals. A big part is due to the nursing staff, "unsung hero". The staff 
stands back and does their job. There are no awards for what these people do in their 
everyday lives. The staff is not rewarded for all the long stressful hours. There were no 
complaints about the job that this writer heard from any of the staff. In the world we live 
in, people always complain about their job. This is not found in this unit. The nurses 
help send these preemies home. Their reward is not public notice, a lot of money, just a 
smile from the tiniest of patients. 


Works Cited 

Anderson, Stephanie. Personal Experiences. 20 Mar. 2005 

Barry, & Deborah. "Bom to Soon: Story of Finn." Retrieved on 15 Apr. 2005. 


"Bo's Web Photo." Retrieved on 15 Apr. 2005. 


Geddes, Anne. "Photofolio." Until Now. ( 2000). Cedco Pub., San Rafael, Ca. 

Larimer, Krisanne. "Kangarooing My Little Angel." Jan. 2001. 14 Apr. 2005. 


Madden, Susan. "Providing Comfort and Developmentally Supporitive Care for Your 
Premature Baby." Jan. 2001. 14 Apr. 2005. 

<http: www. prematurity, org/baby/supporiti ve-care. htm 1> 

Maroney, Dianne I. "Helping Parents Survive the Emotional "Roller Coster Ride" in the 
N1CU." Jan. 2001. 14 Apr. 2005. < 

Martin, Allison. MPA. "(Parent Advocate: Bom in the NICU." Jan. 2001. 14 Apr. 

2005. <> 

Nelson, C. Hal (ed). Sinnissippi Saga: A History of Rockford and Winnebago 
County . Illinois. Wayside press. Mendota, Illinois. 1968. 
Peterson-Degroff,Maren. "Developmental Care: Over Stimulationand Your Premature 
Baby." 12 Apr. 2005. <> 

Rockord Memorial Web Site. "NICU Medical Programs." Updated 2004. 12 Apr. 2005. 


Rybarcyz, Tom. "Couple Rewarded with Triplets" Rockford Register Star. 29 Dec. 

Seibert, Dustin J. "The Fruit of Her Labor: 4 Girls." Rockford Register Star. 1 1 Apr. 2005. 

8 months old 

I'm trying to hold 


Bo’s NICU Pictures 

Bo’s NICU Pictures 


Finn was born 25 weeks gestation. 
Bom 1 lb. 3 oz. 



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Twins born 2 lbs. 



Janesville, Wis., father of quadruplet girls born March 24 at Rockford Memorial Hospital 

Photos by John E Ethers llfKockford R egister Star 

Jim and Christina Lindell nad quadruplets March 24 at Rockford Memorial Hospital. The Janesville, Wis., family said they are 
eager and nervous about having four babies at once. The children are Emily Dawn (from left), Alyssa Catlyn, Rebecca Lynn 
and Camryn Belle. 

LOCAL&STATE Rockford Register Star, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002 

Michael Clancy i Rockford Register Star 

Katheryn and Randall Simpson are celebrating the delivery of triplets, bom one minute apart on 
Christmas at Rockford Memorial Hospital: Katelyn (from left), 4 pounds, 1 ounce: Amanda, 4 
pounds, 2 ounces; and Garrett, 5 pounds, 6 ounces. 

John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Austin - 1 

Rockford Ministers Fellowship 

The Rockford Ministers Fellowship is among the most community involved and 
active African American organization in the Rockford area. The organization’s 
accomplishments are numerable and note worthy. Yet, in spite of the organization’s active 
role in the community and tireless efforts to make the Rockford and surrounding 
community a better place for all to live, it has remained, to a large degree, a quiet and 
misunderstood organization. 

This history of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship is an introductory attempt to 
recognize the organizers, the motivation that inspired the creation of the organization and 
a few of the organization’s accomplishments . Time and circumstance would not permit an 
exhaustive treatise on the Rockford Ministers Fellowship. That will be left to more capable 

According to Barbara Chapman, “In 1989 the Negro clergymen had formed their 
own society, the Rockford Ministers Fellowship.” The African American community 
needed a voice from the clergy, but little or none was coming from the larger religious 
establishment as it relates to social issues (Chapman 150). Chapman, quoting one of the 
most famous African American pastors of Rockford, Reverend E.H.E. Gilbert, states, 

“The Rockford Ministerial Association was not only ineffective/ 4 “It had become totally 

impotent” (Chapman 105). 

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Austin - 2 

John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

The idea of African American clergymen administering to spiritual needs of their 
congregants, as well as their social needs, is not unusual. John Hope Franklin states, 
“Perhaps the most powerful institution in the black world was the church. Barred as they 
were from many areas of social and political life, African Americans turned more and more 
to the church for self-expression, recognition, and leadership” (Franklin, Moss 466). 
Conversely, the idea of becoming socially involved has not always been viewed as prudent 
with other religious clergy, “While many white evangelicals and fundamentalists 
have... divided the spiritual dimensions of the gospel from its social dimension, within the 
Black Church, one’s theology is not given credence unless it includes a social dimension” 

( Perry 14 ). As a member of the New Zion Baptist Church while Rev. Claybom Salter 
served as pastor, the writer can remember many times when Rev. Claybom Salter would 
refer to humanity as a “tricotomy” meaning man is spirit, mind and body. According to 
Rev. Claybom Salter, “We should be concerned about the whole man ” Not all members 
of the Christian Church are in agreement with this position. 

Reverend Hal Lloyd is perhaps a good example of a theologian whose social action 
matches his theology and one who suffered for his social activism. According to Chapman, 
Rev. Lloyd, who had been Westminster Presbyterian’s pastor for fifteen years resigned 
under the weight of the demands from the congregation for his active role in the Civil 
Rights movement. Although Reverend Lloyd whose pedigree included being, “selected a 
Merrill Fellow by Harvard Divinity School,” along with his many years of service, it was 
not enough to sustain his position as pastor if he also chose to be a community activist 

John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Austin - 3 

(Chapman 148-149). 

Reverend E.H.E. Gilbert, one of the chief architects behind the organization of the 
Rockford Ministers Fellowship has a rich legacy. Beginning with his longevity in the 
Rockford community having come to Rockford at the age of five, attending the Rockford 
schools, earning a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College, and attending seminary in 
Nashville Tennessee and Richmond, Virginia (Nelson 147-165). 

According to Barbara Chapman’s book. That Men Know so Little of Men 
Reverend Gilbert’s legacy includes: youngest pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, president 
of “Rockford Liberty Home Owners League,” “Rockford Housing Authority”, appointed 
to the “Governing Committee” of Winnebago County Opportunities Industrialization 
Center, and the list goes on. (Chapman 97-159) 

As it relates to the “Civil Rights Movement,” E.H.E. “Skip” Gilbert, the son of 
E.H.E. Gilbert, Reverend Gilbert, “was right in the hunt of things.” Recalling a time 
when, he (Skip) was a youngster. Reverend E.H.E. Gilbert invited Ralph Abernathy, Dr. 
Martin Luther King Jr. s’ right-hand man, to Rockford at the height of the “Civil Rights” 
movement. Ralph Abernathy spoke at Pilgrim Baptist church, an event that was attended 
by all segments of the society. Skip Gilbert excited exclaims, “Ralph Abernathy stayed in 
our house.” 

Another organizer of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship, whose accomplishments 
may not be as extensive as Reverend E.H.E. Gilbert or Reverend Claybom Salter, but 
whose contributions are just as important, is Reverend Joseph Turner, former pastor of 

John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Austin - 4 

People’s Community Church and Miles Memorial C.M.E. Church. As one of the original 
organizers of Rockford Ministers Fellowship, Reverend Turner is quoted as saying, “We 
realized black ministers weren’t getting cooperation from the white churches on racial 
problems and decided to organize a voice of our own” (Chapman 150). Still reflecting the 
same attitude many years later, the Rockford Register says of Reverend Turner, “Turner 
says community activism is part of being a good Christian, and his church is ‘very 
politically minded.” Much of his ministry seems to point to being very socially and 
political active. Judging by so many of his positions such as, “The closeness that results 
from a small congregation also allows more opportunity to work together on community 
projects/ 4 and “[We] often meet with our alderman on issues that concern this 
community/ 4 including the previous mentioned position, makes it clear why Rev. Joseph 
Turner was one of the organizers and possibly the spirit behind its creation (Rev Joseph 

Reverend Turner’s impact on the city has been significant according to Reverend 
Perry Bennett, current president of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship. Rev. Turner was a 
great supporter of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship. Rev. Turner was present at news 
conferences and nearly all the Rockford Ministers Fellowship’s events before getting to a 
point where his health made it difficult for him to remain active. Even though he was out 
numbered in the Fellowship (The majority of the members of the Rockford Ministers 
Fellowship are of the Baptist denomination) Rev. Joseph Turner held a strong presence 
within the Fellowship ( Bennett Interview). 

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English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Austin - 5 

Another great personality of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship, who was not one 
of the original organizers, which may come to a surprise to many, was nevertheless, a 
powerful influence in the organization and the community of Rockford. Reverend 
Claybom Salter pastored New Zion Baptist Church for over thirty-five years, “served as 
president of the Baptist General State Convention of Illinois until 1990,” one of the 
organizers of Rock River Development Corporation, and instmmental in bringing 
Opportunities Industrialization Center to Rockford. (New Zion) 

All three of these influential men are no longer with us. During the time of this 
writing the last of the three men departed the shore of this side of life having left a legacy 
any man could be proud of. Mark Bonne of the Rockford Register Star exclaims, “Salter 
was remembered as the last of a triumvirate of black ministers with long tenures and 
longer influence” (Bonne 12 A). 

Some accomplishments the organization has made over the years are: better 
housing, the establishment of the Opportunity Industrialization Center in Rockford, 
economic support for Booker Washington Community Center, support of the Head Start 
program, jobs for both male and females in areas where African Americans were 
heretofore not employed such as Rockford Products, Amerock, and Swedish American 
Hospital. These efforts made a way for other African American professionals to have an 
opportunity where none existed prior to the Rockford Ministers Fellowship’s appeals. In 
addition to the afore mentioned accomplishments, the Rockford Ministers Fellowship 
supported the Meet and Eat program, and raised funds for other organizations and 

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John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Austin - 6 

individuals. The Rockford Ministers Fellowship worked behind the scene during the 
desegregation law suit and the raising of funds for the organization People Who Care. The 
Rockford Ministers Fellowship is the sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. 
The list goes on according to Rev. Louis Malone, pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church, one 
of the largest African American churches in Rockford. Rev. Louis Malone is also the 
second vice president of Baptist General State Convention of Illinois, (which boast of 
having more than two-hundred and fifty affiliated churches within the state of Illinois) and 
Rev. Louis Malone has been a member of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship for the past 
twenty-four years (Malone Interview). 

The organization today has at its core the same mission and purpose as its original 
organizers. According to Rev. Charles Threadgill Sr., pastor of New Fellowship Baptist 
church and first vice president of the Rockford Ministers Fellowship. The mission and 
purpose is to meet the needs of the African American community, the poor and assist 
where possible, those organizations that promote justice for all people. Serving as the 
original organizers did, who served with a sense of commitment and vision, the hopes and 
aspirations of Rev. Charles Threadgill Sr. is to continue within the same spirit as those 
great men that set the pace for the organization. According to Rev. Charles Threadgill Sr., 
the Rockford Ministers Fellowship does not serve the community for any type of 
recognition, their greatest desire is to do what God would have them do. (Threadgill 

According to Rev. Perry Bennett, the great challenges for the Rockford Ministers 

Austin - 7 

John Austin 
English 103, DWX 
25 April 2005 

Fellowship today is crime and violence, especially within the African American 
community, the disproportionate rate of incarceration of African Americans, a school 
system that is ineffective at truly educating all children in view of their culture and 
background, and the availability of jobs for African Americans, especially for those who 
get college educated but can not find work in the city where they were reared and 
nurtured. (Bennett Interview) 

Rev. Perry Bennett gave an example of a young African American youth who 
recently received his law degree but was unable to find work in Rockford. According to 
Rev. Perry Bennett what the young man experience is typical for many African Americans 
who go away, complete their education and try to find work in Rockford. “These things 
must change” exclaims Rev. Perry Bennett. 

The problems of African Americans and the other members of the community who 
need a voice from the clergy still exist and the purpose and mission of the Rockford 
Ministers Fellowship goes on, according to Reverend Perry Bennett, current president of 
the Rockford Ministers Fellowship. (Interview Mar.2005) 

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Works Cited 

Bennett, Perry. Personal Interview. 1720 Morgan Street. Macedonia Baptist Church, 
Rockford, IL. 21 Feb. 2005 

Bonne, Mark. “Minister ’Was Not a Cupcake.” Rockford Register Star. 22 April 2005: 

Chapman, Barbara. That Men Know So Little of Men: A History of the Negro in 
Rockford, Illinois, 1834-1973. Rockford, 111: Rockford Public Library. 

Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred A. Moss Jr. From Sla\>ery to Freedom: A History of 
African Americans. 8 th ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000 

Gilbert, E.H.E. “Skip”. Personal Interview. 212 6 th Street. Blood of Christ Church, 
Rockford, II. 24 April 2005 

Malone, Louis E. Personal Interview. 2919 19 th Street St. Luke Baptist Church, Rockford, 
IL. 12 April 2005 

Nelson, Hjalmar (Hal) C. We The People... of Winnebago County. Illinois: Winnebago 
County Bicentennial Commission. 1975 

“New Zion Celebrates Minister’s 33 years.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, 
Rockford Public Library Reference Section. 1993. 3 April 2005 

Perry, Dwight. Breaking Down Barriers: A Black Evangelical Explains The Black 
Church. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 1998 

“Rev. Joseph Turner.” Rockford Register Star . Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public 
Library Reference Section. 1991. 3 April 2005 

Threadgill Sr., Charles. Personal Interview. 804 Second Avenue, New Fellowship Baptist 
Church, Rockford IL. 6 April 2005 

Works Cited 

Wells, Ed. “Dear Santa - Rockford Could Use A Few Things . . Rockford Register Star 20 Dec 2004. 3 Mar. 2005. 

http ://cf. rrstar . com/prinfriendlv/print . cfin?pagetoprint~http : //ww.rrstar. com/apps/p 


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Rev.. Eldridce H. E. Gilbert 

The Rev. Joseph Turner 


Rev. Perry Bennett 

Rev. Clayborn 

The Rockford Riding Club Building 
821 Camlin Avenue 
Rockford, Illinois 

Gustafson 2 

Timothy Gustafson 
Prof. Scott Fisher 
9 May 2005 

The Rockford Riding Club Building 

The Rockford Riding Club building sits at 821 Camlin Avenue, on the comer of 
Camlin Ave. and Logan St. on Rockford’s northwest side. The building, erected in 1920, 
is a massive red brick building roughly 133 feet long by 60 feet wide, 70 or so feet wide 
with the addition on the east side. Sadly, very little is known about this beautiful 
building. It was built by a group of local Rockford horse riders and polo players so that 
they could enjoy their sport and leisure indoors while the weather outside was 
unfavorable (Marker 1). There were active members and associate members who 
belonged to the club; active members owned their own horses and associate members 
would come to the club and rent horses (Marker 1). The associate members would have 
to pay their rates to the paymaster whom occupied his own room during hours of 


Gustafson 3 

Figure 1: Looking out from inside Paymaster's room. 

Unfortunately, any rental rates or club dues amounts were unattainable. The 
building still displays its original hard packed dirt floors. 

The floor of the main room is set 
two feet below the surrounding outside ground level. According to Mark Johnson, who is 
the present owner and bought the building from Clarence Ott, there used to be bleachers 
against the west wall of the building for friends and family spectators. The upstairs of the 

Gustafson 4 

building once held the feed for the horses; hay can still be found peeking out from 
between floorboards and the joints between the floor and wall. The stable area of the 
building help up to 30 horses in 40 inch stalls. Each stall had a window for the horse to 
look out. 

The Rockford Riding Club building had the misfortune of being a wonderful idea 
at the end of the four-hoofed era. In a 1967 interview, Philip Holm said; “Today when 
you ask somebody about a horse, chances are they may never have seen one, but in those 
days, horses were the only dependable transportation available” (Marker 1). This 
statement is even truer almost 40 years later. With the advent of the automobile everyday 
life took a huge leap of pace. Everything had to be here and there faster every day. The 
horse’s usefulness as a viable way of transportation diminished exponentially. 

The Riding Club occupied the building for six years (Powers 1). The Riding Club 
moved out of the Camlin Ave. location and leased the building after mounting expenses 
became too much (Marker 1 ). Thomas Powers’ article states that the building was 
purchased by G.W. Mulholland in 1928. Mr. Mulholland operated a sewer contracting 
business out of the main room of the building. In 1936 the building was listed under two 
addresses; 821 and 819 Camlin Avenue. Mr. Powers presumes that the split in addresses 
came about when G.W. Mulholland began renting the small addition on the East side of 
the building as living space for three people (Powers 1). 

The Rockford City Directory indicates that the building was sold to Clarence Ott 
in 1938 (Rockford 1937-1938). Mark Johnson and Peter Damby both confirm that Mr. 
Ott operated a trucking company that hauled and stored new Cadillac cars before they 

Gustafson 5 

were delivered to Humphrey Cadillac in Rockford (Damby, Johnson). Peter grew 
up in the Edgewater Neighborhood, where the building is located, and would go to the 
building with friends to sneak peeks at the new Cadillac models that were stored outside 
on the surrounding lot. 

According to Mr. Johnson the building stored Disney Christmas decorations and 
the old indoor train for North Towne Mall towards the end of the mall’s reign as a 
prominent west side mall (Johnson 1). The building is now used for storage of several 
cars and a few boats in the large main room. The addition on the east side of the building 
contains a small office, with facilities, and the remaining part of the addition holds a 
small machine shop and workshop. The upstairs and stable portions of the building 
contain miscellaneous items stored by Mr. Johnson. 

From what this author learned from Mr. Johnson, it does not appear that there are 
any plans for the old Rockford Riding Club building beyond a storage facility. This old 
building holds the potential for something incredible, just as do most historic buildings in 
Rockford, but since it has not been updated with the years, the renovation costs would be 


Gustafson 6 

Works Cited 

Damby, Peter. Personal Interview. 3 Mar. 2005. 

Gustafson, Timothy. Personal Photographs. Feb. 2005 
Johnson, Mark. Personal Interview. 10 Apr. 2005. 

“Marker on Old Building is Reminder of Rockford’s Horsey Past.” 

Rockford Register Star . Jan. 18 1967. 

Powers, Thomas. “A Shorts History of the Rockford Riding Club Building.” 
Edgewater Neighborhood Newsletter , nd 
Rockford, Illinois City Directory . Years: 1920-2003 

Adam Murphy 

May 6, 2005 

Mr. Fisher, ENG 103 NBD 
History of Rockford Movie Theaters 

History of Rockford Movie Theaters 

“Audiences clamored for more but not all public opinion surrounding motion 
pictures was positive. As the medium became more popular, fears arose that movies 
would have an adverse affect on public morality.” This sentiment written in The 
Coronado Theatre: Rockford’s Crown Jewel echoed an attitude prevalent in the country 
around the early 1900’s. This quickly subsided into excitement as the nation began to 
experience the adventure of motion pictures. 

Today, audiences from all over the world share in the experience of watching 
movies and may even have a favorite type. These types or genres serve as guides to 
categorize movies such as horror, drama and foreign. Movies can be shown at a movie 
theater or at home in a DVD player or sometimes watched as a feature on a television 
channel. Most individuals can name their favorite movies and may even own a few 
however; most do not know the history of Rockford movie theaters. 

Rockford boasted some of the most innovative equipment in the 1920s in its big 
movie houses such as the Palm, the Midway, the Coronado and the Auburn (Hickox). It 
continued to keep pace throughout the 1960s with the newly designed outdoor theaters 
such as the Sunset and the Belford, known as drive-ins and even had an arthouse called 
Storefront Cinema. Finally, Rockford made its way to its current status of multiplex 
movie theaters, such as ShowPlace 16, which rose in popularity in the 1990s (Turpoff 88- 

In 1915, with the release of Birth of A Nation, film studios could now pick and 
choose who could show their movies. The film industry began to enjoy a success that it 


had previously not experienced. By the end of the decade, there were twenty motion 
picture studios who were distributing around eight hundred films per year (Dirks). 

Today, the motion picture industry will put out about five hundred films per year. 
No longer dominated by silent films, the movie business began to reach out to a multitude 
of audiences and provide them with the kind of entertainment the country was raving 
about. Major cities began to build “picture palaces” around the country with more than 
twenty thousand movie houses operating in the U.S. in 1920 (Dirks). 

Right around this time, Rockford kept up with the pace of the entertainment 
industry by building motion picture houses to show some of these modem films. Mr. 
Charles Lamb of the Forest City Theater Corporation built the first big motion picture 
house called the Palm around 1913 located on West State Street (“Charles Lamb Built”). 
Lamb was highly involved in the movie business particularly the management of some of 
the stars in the 1920s. Known for his high standards of not only operation but also 
customer service, Mr. Lamb insisted that the Palm, which later became the State, have the 
most innovative equipment to show the movies. The “multiple projection system” 
allowed the movie theater to continuously run the films without having to switch reels 
during the showing (“Charles Lamb Will Manage”). 

In 1918, another great movie house was built in Rockford called The Midway. 
This was the first movie house that had orchestral accompaniment and varied lighting 
formats and opened on August 3, 1918 on 721 East State Street. The reason the financial 
backers chose the East side for the location was the fact that sixty-five percent of the 

Murphy - 3 

movie going audience in Rockford lived close to where the Midway was built (“Largest 

The building was one hundred and two feet by one hundred and seventy- five feet 
and had a capacity of two thousand people in its theater which included Tennessee 
marble from floor to ceiling. The general contractor, Ross P. Beckstrom and the 
architect, Mr. J.E.O. Primrose worked together to create a Spanish type setting to add to 
the patron’s “escape” into another world. The Aschen Brothers of Chicago were hired to 
manage and design and they spared no expense in the details (“Midway Theater”). The 
actual conception of the theater came from Frank G. Hoglund who felt that Rockford 
needed to be able to compete with the larger cities in terms of entertainment (“Rockford’s 

In addition, a clock created by Seth Thomas measuring five stories, was actually 
assembled at the Midway which became a downtown landmark for years to come. Not 
only did the Midway show movies throughout the 1920s, but it also offered apartments 
and a bowling alley in the basement (Turpoff 91 ). Except for the bowling alley, the 
operation of everything in the Midway continued until a fire caused by an electrical wire 
in August of 1980 shut down the Midway. Restoring the Midway went through two 
phases. The first addressed the need to renovate the theater, lobby, stage and dressing 
rooms. The second phase was to restore the front part of the building into offices 
(Renovating Rockford’s”). 

The Midway eventually became a home for The Rockford Symphony Orchestra 
before they relocated to the Coronado. Despite a brief attempt to revive the movie 

Murphy - 4 

business with a showing of Metropolis in 1984 and a screen which was sixty-five feet 
wide, the Midway would eventually close from the pressure of the multi-plexes (Lamb). 

From 1920 through 1930, the country was dealing with the end of WWI and 
reeling from the stock market crash after the Great Depression. This, however, did not 
stop the entertainment industry from moving ahead at great speed. In fact, contracts 
could be offered to some of the bigger stars to ensure their longevity and commitment to 
the studio (Dirks). During this time, Holm-Page built The Coronado in 1925 at 3 14 North 
Main Street and officially opened on October 9, 1927. It was owned by Willard N. Van 
Matre, Jr. and designed J. Klein at a cost of $1.5 million (‘"History”). One reason the 
Coronado had such a high price was the fact that the designers combined different themes 
rather than having just one. Having a simulated “starry night” was just one of the 
combined designs in the Coronado. Additionally, Spanish, Oriental, Aztec and 
mythological themes were incorporated into the theater (Quirk and Akerlund 17). 

The first movie shown was Swim Girl Swim starring Bebe Daniels and had an 
attendance of over nine thousand patrons. It is said that ten minutes before the first show, 
workmen were still installing the seats and flooring in the Coronado. In 1977, the 
Coronado “returned” to the 1920s by showing the silent film classic Safety Last starring 
Harold Lloyd accompanied by an eighteen piece orchestra. The theater also hired ushers 
to seat patrons and ran the electric clouds and stars on the ceiling just as was done in the 
early days of the Coronado (Quirk and Akerlund 23). According to Ed Henry in his 1998 
article “Coronado Perspective: Remembering the Coronado” in the Rock River Times , 
the only thing missing was the interaction from the audience. “In those days,” he states, 

Murphy - 5 

“audiences were more likely to talk back to the movie screen with hooting, booing or 

In January of 1984. the Coronado stopped showing movies and returned to 
providing live entertainment. Mary Ann Smith founded a group called Friends of the 
Coronado who envisioned the theater returning to its original beauty. She and the group 
began a restoration project officially on June 30, 1999. In January of 2001, the Coronado 
opened its doors to the public with a $17.1 million dollar price tag. From the early movie 
business to vaudeville and live performances the Coronado still provides Rockford with 
high quality entertainment (Quirk and Akerlund 65-74). 

The Auburn was built in 1942 at 1120 Auburn Street near the intersection of 
North Main Street and Auburn Street. Lundin and Grip, Incorporated built the Auburn 
also known as The North End Theater. The theater cost approximately $75,000 to build 
and had a capacity of one thousand people when it opened the first week in April 1942 
(Turpoff 94). 

An elaborate movie house with an ornate interior and bold architecture, the 
Auburn used modern material in its building such as glass, brick, stainless steel and 
granite. The canopy of the building was unusual in that it was shaped “like the end of an 
egg” and provided adequate space for announcements and protection for the theater- 
goers. Also, inside the theater, the walls had pictures of the South Seas painted on them 
to add to the atmosphere of exotic surroundings (“New Theater”). 

The first movie shown in 1942 at The Auburn was My Favorite Wife, starring 
Cary Grant and Irene Dunn (“New Theater”). Ownership changed in 1955 when J. 

Murphy - 6 

Albert Johnson bought the theater and installed the latest movie projection equipment 
called cinemascope. Movies continued to be shown at the Auburn until the 1980s when 
the Auburn Theater was turned into a hardware store. This lasted only into the 1990s and 
sits empty today (“J.A. Johnson Buys”). 

When the novelty of the grand theaters began to diminish, the country moved 
away from the ornate and elaborate movie houses of the past and the need to design 
practical movie houses took shape. In fact, in the 1950s, drive-ins became popular for a 
variety of reasons. Most notably, the fact that those attending the drive-in were 
guaranteed privacy in their own car. Families and dates enjoyed this “private showing” 
of movies with little or no contact from the outside world. They were inexpensive to 
build and gave movie-goers a way to attend the theater affordably and efficiently 
(Turpoff 94). Though officially created in 1938, drive-ins became popular in the 1950s 
when there were five thousand drive-ins nationally (“Show’s Over”). 

In Rockford, two drive-ins enjoyed moderate success. The Belford was located 
on East State Street between Rockford and Belvidere, hence, the name Belford. The 
Belford opened in 1965, when drive-in theater numbers increased to a number of around 
six thousand theaters around the country (“Show’s Over”). 

The Sunset on Samuelson Road, built around the same time, struggled to make 
money. In fact, a complaint filed by the district attorney’s office in August of 1984, 


claimed that sexually explicit movies shown by the Sunset could be seen from 


neighboring houses and even from an elementary school (“Sunset Theater”). Some 
supporters of The Sunset thought that maybe ruling against the Sunset might lead to a 



Murphy - 7 

censorship of R rated movies. In the end, the lawsuits and bad press from showing X- 
rated movies finally closed its doors (“County Asks”). 

The Belford, on the other hand, continued it success throughout the 1970s and all 
the way into the 1990s. The decline of outdoor theaters or drive-ins was mostly due to 
newer indoor theaters being built. The indoor theaters did not rely on the weather or the 
time of year to show a movie, therefore, could show movies as they were released and did 
not have to settle for “B” quality. The Belford was a rarity in that it had indoor and 
outdoor theaters which allowed the theater to compete locally. Originally, the Belford 
allowed eleven hundred cars into its lot to view a movie. Then, in 1973, the Belford 
added a second outdoor screen and would also add more indoor theaters. It finally closed 
in September of 1995 when the Belford was demolished to make room for the new 
ShowPlace 16 (“Show’s Over”). 

Rockford’s first “arthouse” or venue showing primarily cutting edge movies as 
well as classics was called Storefront Cinema. In the early 1980s, Mark Taylor and Doug 
Kamholz created an organization called The Rockford Film Project and with less than 
$6,000, they opened Storefront Cinema. On December 30 of 1983, the Storefront Cinema 
opened its doors to a sold out house with its first showing of Fitzcarraldo, a German film 
(Daley). This type of “artistic” movie played along side classics such as Casablanca and 
The Misfits to give Storefront Cinema its appropriate name of “arthouse”. The concept of 
an art house where patrons could see lesser known movies as well as foreign titles 
appealed to Rockford audiences. In fact, Storefront was so different that at the beginning 

Murphy - 8 

of each showing, there would be a brief introduction and discussion of the movie 
(“Alternative Movie”). 

Originally located at 306 East State Street, Storefront moved to the Discovery 
Center in 1985. A major improvement for Storefront occurred in 1991 when the theater 
obtained a 35mm projector. Prior to purchasing the 35mm projector, Storefront showed 
their movies on a 16mm projector which did not have decent picture or sound quality. 

The projectors were actually purchased form a local high school for $400 and then 
refurbished by Tim Stolberg, a technician at Rock Valley College. The process to 
refurbish the projectors took eight months and was more of a “trial and error” procedure 

In an interview conducted with Mr. Ron Schulz, Storefront Board president and 
film instructor at Rock Valley College, he stated that some of the reasons Storefront has 
struggled is due to the lack of a marketing budget and finding the right kind of audience. 
He also noted that the more successful art houses are found in big cities and college 

Movie-goers of today enjoy most of their movie watching in a multi-plex. This 
type of movie theater became widespread in the 1990s and rose in popularity with the 
invention of stadium seating (Doyle). With approximately three thousand seats in the 
complex, ShowPlace 16 has dominated the Rockford since its opening in 1997. Soon, 
there will be a ShowPlace 14 located on Highway 173 in Machesney Park scheduled to 
open late 2005. An article titled “Movies Coming to Downtown” by Anna Voelker in the 
March 25, 2005 business section of the Rockford Register Star , stated that Rockford may 

Murphy - 9 

soon return to its movie roots by building a theater in the downtown area. The multi- 
screen theater will focus more on art films as Colonial Village’s movie theater on Alpine 
Road in Rockford will soon close. Kim Wheeler of the Rover District was quoted as 
saying that a movie theater has been in the works for about three years now. While the 
article also states that this will “not happen overnight”, the idea is of interest to some 
local political leaders and may entice more business in the downtown area. 

In 1969, local theaters, most notably the Midway, Coronado, Times and 
State, blacked out their marquees in a symbolic protest against television to remind the 
city that movies were still needed and that television could never take the place of 
attending a movie in one of Rockford’s movie “palaces” (Quirk and Akerlund 48-49). 
Unfortunately, these grand theaters slowly began to be phased out as the city adopted the 
modern multi-plex. At least they had the right idea; television can never replace the 
experience of watching movies on the big screen. Whether in an elaborate movie house 
such as the Coronado or at ShowPlace 16, movies will continue to evolve and entertain 

for generations to come. 

Works Cited 

Murphy- 1 0 

“Alternative movie theater celebrates anniversary.” Rockford Register Star. 27 

February 1992. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 
February 2005. 

Auburn Theater. Rockford, Illinois. Photo in Rockford Register Star 1940 April, 
Photographer unknown. Acquired from Rockfordiana Files. 

Auburn Street Hardware. Rockford Illinois. Photo by NIBCA (Northern Illinois Building 
Contractors’ Association). Date Unknown. 

Belford Theater, Rockford, Illinois. Rockford Register Star. Photo by Brad Burt. 9 
April 1994. 

“Charles Lamb Built First Big Picture Theater Here.” Rockford Star. 13 August 1927. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 28 February 2005. 
“Charles Lamb Will Manage Both Houses.” Rockford Star. 12 May 1920. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 5 March 2005. 
Coronado Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photo by Fred Samuelson, Rockford Register 
Star, 10 September 1977. 

Coronado Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photographer and Date unknown. Published in 

Coronado Theater: Rockford's Crown Jewel by Gwen Quirk and Nels Akerlund. 
Coronado Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photo by Rockford Register Star. Date unknown. 
Published in Coronado Theater: Rockford ’s Crown Jewel by Gwen Quirk and 

Nels Akerlund. 

Murphy- 1 1 

Coronado Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photographer and date unknown. Published 
in Coronado Theater: Rockford 's Crown Jewel by Gwen Quirk and 
Nels Akerlund. 

“County asks Sunset Contempt Order.” Rockford Register Star. 19 September 1984. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 10 March 2005. 

Daley, Dave. “Storefront Cinema fills all seats for first show.” Rockford Register Star. 

1 January 1984. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 
February 2005. 

Dirks, Tim. “Film History of the 1920’s.” Accessed 16 February 2005. 

Doyle, Mike. “It’s Showtime at ShowPlace” Rockford Register Star. 20 November 

1997. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 10 March 2005. 
Henry, Ed. “Coronado Perspective: Remembering the Coronado” Rock River Times. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 28 February 2005. 
Hickox, Lou. “Dean of Movie Operators Watched Industry Grow Up.” Rockford 

Register Star. 8 January 1946. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
Accessed 28 February 2005. 

“History of the Coronado Theatre.” Friends of the Coronado Website. 10 February 

“J.A. Johnson Buys Theater, Purchases Auburn.” Rockford Star. Rockfordiana Files. 
Rockford Public Library. Accessed 10 March 2005. 

Murphy- 12 

Lamb, Joe. “Touched-up 1926 classic opens at Midway.” Rockford Register Star. 5 

October 1984. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 5 March 

“Largest Exclusive Motion Picture Theater in the West opens Saturday.” Rockford Star. 
28 July 1918. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 5 March 

Lenahan, Jim. “New projector brings first-run films to Rockford.” Rockford Register 

Star. 12 June 1991. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 
February 2005. 

Midway Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photo acquired from Rockfordiana Files. 
Photographer and date unknown. 

Midway Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photo by Sjostrom and Sons Inc. Date unknown. 
Midway Theater. Rockford Illinois. Photographer unknown. Rockford Register Star. 17 
April 1998. Rockfordiana Files. 

“Midway Theater Leased to Movie Men of Chicago.” Rockf ord Republic. 20 November 

1917. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 February 

“New Theater Opening is Set for Thursday.” Rockford Register Star. 6 April 1942. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 28 February 2005. 
“Renovating Rockford’s Two Historic Theaters.” Rock River Times. 30 August 1995. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 5 March 2005. 
“Rockford’s Beautiful New Midway Theater.” Rockford Register Star. 3 February 

1918. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 26 February 2005. 

Murphy- 1 3 

Schulz, Ron. Personal Interview. 8 April 2005. 

“Show’s Over; After Three Decades, the Belford closes it’s Gates for Good.” Rockford 
Register Star. 15 September 1990. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
Accessed 10 March 2005. 

ShowPlace 16. Rockford Illinois. Photo by NIBCA (Northern Illinois Building 

Contractors’ Association). Published in They Must Be Shadows. Photographer and 
date unknown. 

“Sunset Theater gets Delay in Flearing.” Rockford Register Star. 1 August 1984. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 5 March 2005. 

Turpoff, Glen. “They Too Cast Shadows.” Rockford, IL. Northern Illinois Building 
Contractors Association, 1999. 

Voelker, Anna. “Movies Coming to Downtown?” Rockford Register Star. 25 

March 2005. 

“He who goes a step beyond the demand, and by supplying works of a higher 
beauty and a higher interest than vet has been perceived, succeeds in adding fresh 
extension of sense to the heritage of the age." — \ Bernard Shau'. 

Ascher’s Midway Theatre 


THE MIDWAY THEATRE is one of a great chain of Motion Picture Palaces operated by Ascher Bros. Amusement Enterprise' 
Chicago, 111. Its architectural design, both outside and within, would do credit to any city in the country. It seats 2000 person; 
comfortably all on one floor, and its ventilation, decorations and entire equipment is unsurpassed. In addition to providing the fines' 
productions that the Cinema Art affords, it is also the home of “The Beautiful in Music’’, boasting one of the finest Motion Picture 
Orchestras in America. It aLo has a magnificent large three-manual Moller Pipe Organ of wonderful tone quality, and the manage 
ment makes a special effort to have the music always a commanding part of its entertainment. 

It is truly the Home of the Cinema Superb and the Symphony 







The Midway Theater was one of 
the “great houses ” that brought 
the world to Rockford on film 
and in live performances by top 
stars. It was, in its prime, a 
bridge over the “troubled waters 99 
of poverty and war. 

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The Belford, Rockford’s last drive-in theater, will be razed for the new development. 

BRAD BURT / The Register Star 

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Ashley Luce 
English 103 
May 9th, 2005 

The Peaches: Rockford’s Sweethearts 

The Rockford Peaches is one of the greatest teams in baseball. The players were 
some of the best athletes in professional baseball. They played the game they loved, and 
changed sports history forever. The Peaches were unique, dedicated, and talented. 

It was 1942, and America was at war. All able-bodied young men were being 
drafted, leaving the country with a shortage of athletes. Major league baseball was dying, 
but someone had a plan. Phillip K. Wrigley, the chewing gum tycoon and owner of the 
Chicago Cubs, came up with a committee to figure out a solution ( That 
solution would become the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Scouts 
selected candidates and held try-outs to find the top female ballplayers ( 
Some players were as young as fifteen. The cities that Wrigley initially convinced to start 
teams were Rockford, Racine, Kenosha, and South Bend. These cities could buy a team 
franchise for only $22,500 (Johnson 19). 

In the fall of 1943, the league was underway. Spring training started at Wrigley 
Field, and the girls were tested in every position to determine who would be cut. The 
ones that were picked to go pro had high salaries. These salaries ranged from $45 to $85 
a week ( However, women’s baseball differed from men’s baseball. The 
women’s league had to practice rules of etiquette. All players were required to have a 
“beauty kit”. This beauty kit would contain: cleanser, medium rouge, face powder (if one 
was a brunette), astringent, lotion, hair remover, lipstick, and cream deodorant. 


( Women had to have complete beauty routines before each game. They 
needed to uphold the “girly” image of the league by making themselves presentable at all 
times. The Peaches’ uniforms consisted of buttoned tops with a collar and a skirt (Photo 

The girls were required to 
attend charm school to learn how 
to “be a lady” before they could 
play (Johnson, 145). Wrigley, with 
the help of Helena Rubenstein’s 
Beauty Salon, made sure the girls 
were presentable ( 
In an interview, Jeanie Des 
Combes Lesko, a pitcher for the Grands Rapids Chicks, looks back on her history. When 
asked about what society thought of women’s baseball, she replied “Society may have 
been different in different areas of the country. I know the general feeling about women 
playing in sports was that you were not very feminine. You were a tomboy and liked 
boy’s things. That separated you from the other girls in most cases” ( The 
league had quite an interesting history, and the players were even more so. 

The Peaches played at Beyer Stadium, otherwise known as the Orchard. The team 
had many dedicated fans, bringing gifts to their favorite players. Fans could see Carolyn 
Morris pitching no-hitters. Morris entered the league at age 19. She helped the Peaches 
win over twenty games in three years. She was voted “All-Star” in 1946 
( Dottie Kamenshek and Rose Gacioch were also team favorites 


(Gregorich, 133). Dottie was extremely popular because she would become the best 
player in the history of women’s baseball. She entered the league at age 18. “Kammie”, 
as she was nicknamed, played first base and was a phenomenal batter. Her averages 
included a .3 16 in 1946 and a .306 in 1947. She had one several titles for her astounding 
batting averages (Gregorich, 92). 

At twenty-eight, Rosie Gacioch was one of the oldest in the league. That didn’t 
stop her from being a great asset to the Peaches. “Rockford Rosie” was a wonderful 
pitcher and outfielder. She set a league record with thirty-one outfield assists (Gregorich, 

Throughout its humble beginnings, the All-American Girls Baseball League was 
extremely successful. In the first few years after the war, attendance was still booming 
with two to three thousand fans coming to each game ( However, the 
league would come to an unfortunate demise. 

In 1951, the league’s president had resigned, causing the league to become 
decentralized. Each team was now fully controlled by their home city. Teams started 
losing franchises and clubs were running out of financing. Television was emerging, 
men’s games were being televised, and eventually the Professional Girl’s League was 
phased out ( 

Although the AAGPBL is no longer around, it did forever change the history of 
baseball. Over 600 women got to play as professionals, giving children (girls especially) 
the hope to one day fill their shoes. The league’s players were positive role models for 
Americans fallen on hard times. The teams provided entertainment for a country at war, 
and the fans were eternally grateful. 


Works Cited 

“1943 Rockford Peaches”. The All American Girls Professional Baseball League . Last 
Updated 2005. 28 March 2005. 

“American Heroes”. No date. 28 March 2005. 
<http :// www.> 

Gregorich, Barbara Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball . San Diego: 
Harcourt & Brace Company T 1992. 

Johnson, Susan E. When Women Played Hardball . Seattle: Seal Press, 1994. 

Jennifer Golden 
English 103, Section RRM 
12 April 2005 

Golden- 1 

Can Talking and Slips Help? 

As more and more children are acting out or having behavioral problems in school, does 
a school-wide discipline plan have an effect? In the past, discipline was done by a paddle. In the 
Rockford Public Schools now there is a Discipline Code that was approved by the School Board 
in 1 996 and revised in 2003 (Rockford Board of Education). However, different schools use 
different ways to implement this code. Restitution and Positive Behavioral Interventions and 
Supports (PBIS) are two school- wide systems that some of the Rockford schools use to 
implement the Discipline Plan. 

Restitution is a “process by which youth learn self-discipline”(Gossen 3). Children are 
shown what they have done wrong and Restitution helps them to find a better way in which to 
deal with the problem. An example would be one child is name-calling and the other child hit 
the first one. Teachers implementing Restitution ask the children to explain why they are in 
trouble. The teacher and children discuss if this action was getting the students what they want. 
If the answer is no, they discuss what they can do to fix the problem. Both students will the 
write a “plan” about how they will act in the future. Restitution tries to get to the bottom of what 
the real problem is. The booklet The Behavior Car by Larry Larson, takes a look at 


reasons why a child may be acting out. For example, . .the wheels represent our total behavior. 
The components of total behavior are action (doing), thinking, feeling, and physiology 
(body/health). They all work together. The back wheels of the behavioral car are feelings and 
physiology and the front wheels are thinking and action”(Larsonl3). A child could be sick, 
hungry, having troubles at home or maybe taking medication. The behavioral car is like a real 
car. If the car has a flat, it is not going to perform as well. It is the same way with children. They 
must be okay in all of these areas to be able to perform in the way they should. Restitution is 
about finding the real problem and fixing it. 

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is the application of behavior 
analysis to achieve socially important behavior change. PBIS uses lists that are posted in the 
hallways, lunchroom, library, and the classrooms. They are the rules for what to do. Ellis 
School has a reward system that it uses to enforce the rules for good behavior. If the students are 
caught being good they are given a slip called “Caught you being good.” The staff passes these 
slips out all week and on Friday they open a store so the students can buy things. The store has 
little toys, pencils, papers, erasers, and other things. It is also a system of data. It makes a list of 
how many times in a month kids get referrals, for what, and where in the school. It can be done 
as a group or one can do it on an individual student. PBIS focuses on the good behavior instead 
of the bad. That is not to say that the problem children do not get in trouble, but the children 
being good get rewarded (Hardy Interview). 

When observing in a school one day, Jennifer Golden watched a few teachers just walk 
around little things that turned into bigger problems. Two students were play fighting and one of 


the students hit the other to hard. It started a real fight. This could have been avoided if they 
adults had intervened (Observation 22). It appears that some adults would rather not become 
involved in problems. Two other observations occurred during a lunch hour. One was with 
elementary school age children and some teachers did not enforce what they said to the children 
(Observation 23). The second observation was a lunch hour with middle school children. The 
adults did enforce what they said to them. During both lunches the students were throwing food 
around. The staff told the elementary students to stop and they did for a few minutes, then they 
started up again. The staff just looked at them and walked away. With the middle school 
students they also were told to stop and they did. To enforce what they said they moved some 
and then they keep checking on them (Observation 24). When dealing with all ages of children, 
the same rules should apply and be enforced. Watching children interact with their teacher is 
very helpful in seeing why some children get along and others do not. Sitting in on one class, the 
teacher and the students were getting along great. The teacher talked to the students and listened 
to what they had to say (Observation 1). Another teacher and the and a few students did not 
really get along. There was no patience and a lot of yelling from both students and teacher 
(Observation 2). Another class was out of control. The teacher had no control; she would yell 
and then never follow through with anything she said. (Observation 2) “There needs to be a 
rapport with children. They must know that the teacher likes them but also means what the 
teacher says” (Rundall interview). 

Attached at the end are some surveys that were given to teachers and students. On the 
surveys for both Restitution and PBIS teachers and students agreed on many things. There 


were a total of five questions. The most interesting result from the survey showed that they 
agreed. As long as everybody is using the same Discipline Plan, it will help to control problems 
(Surveys Haskell and Ellis). The survey for the children had six questions. The students’ 
answers are different yet the same. The major difference discovered from the childrens’ survey 
is how their discipline is implemented. Some said that the teacher would give them three 
warnings and then send them to the office. A few said that they would be put in the hall for 
around ten minutes; others were sent immediately to the office. All the children said they felt 
safe at school and that their principal did care about them. 

Observing two children that were having trouble in class it was apparent that when they 
were moved out of the class and placed in another classroom there were not any more problems; 
perhaps the teacher was at fault. The students were yelling and swearing at other students and 
the teacher. The teacher tried to reason with them and that did not work so she started yelling at 
them. Before long the entire class was out of control. Then one student was moved across the 
hall to another class. This teacher was very calm and consistent about behavior expectations. 
This students behavior improved dramatically. Even when the second student was moved to a 
different class he was still acting out so it appears that the child was the problem (Observation). 

When talking to parents, a lot of them had no idea what school discipline is used at their 
child’s school. Most children felt that the principal cared about the students at their school. 
Some of the parents, especially if they had at least one child in trouble all the time, would blame 
the teachers or the principal. For example, when one parent was called regarding a fight her 


child had been in questioned who started the fight and how the other children were disciplined 
and asked if adults had tried to stop the fight. 

The author has been working at Haskell School since September as a lunch aid and at 
Ellis Arts Academy for the after-school program. This has been a great hands on experience for 
learning how things are done and not done. The author is currently going to school to become a 
Special Education teacher. A few of the things that the author has seen and learned about the 
discipline plan is that everybody needs to support it and implement it, that there is a reason 
behind why a child acts out, and children need to know that they are safe and that people care 
about them. 

Both discipline plans treat special education children the same. It is also the same for 
children on medication. There are a lot of books written to help with children who are behavior 
problems such as The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson, The Difficult Child by Stanley 
Turecki, M.d., Why Johnny Doesn’t Behave by Barbara D. Bateman and Annemieke Golly and 
also What Do You Do With A Child Like This ? by L. Tobin. These books provide some ideas 
and reasons why some children act the way they do. They also give suggestions and tips on how 
to deal with a child who misbehaves. The important thing is that the parent, the teacher, the 
support staff, and the principal work together to help the child. 

There are many different school discipline plans and it seems that many will work. Who 
is to say which one is the best? There are strengths and weaknesses to every discipline plan, but 
when everybody is doing what their plan prescribes, the discipline plan will work. Most children 
know right from wrong. We have the disciplinary plan to help children remember. 


Work Cited 

Ellis School. Observation. 22 February 2005. 

Ellis School. Observation. 23 March 2005. 

Ellis School. Observation. 24 March 2005. 

Ellis School. Survey. Teachers. 

Ellis School. Survey. Kids. 

Gossen, Diane. Restitution Triangle. Chelsom Consultants Limited. Canada. 1 996 
Hardy Dr., Personal Interview. 18 April 2005. 

Haskell School. Observation. 1 January 2005. 

Haskell School. Observation. 2 February 2005. 

Haskell School. Observation. 2 February 2005. 

Haskell School. Observation. September- still. 

Haskell School. Surveys. Teachers 

Haskell School. Surveys. Kids. 

Larson, Larry. The Behavior Car. Larry Larson. Canada. 1 996 

Rockford Board of Education. Discipline Code. June 1996. Revised July 2003. 

Rundall, Ann. 
Rundall, Ann. 
Rundall, Ann. 
Rundall, Ann. 
Rundall, Ann. 

Personal Interview. 

Personal Interview. 

Personal Interview. 

Personal Interview. 

Personal Interview. 

13 January 2005. 

14 January 2005. 
10 February 2005. 
24 February 2005. 
21-25 March 2005. 

Children Survey 



• So you feel safe at school? 

• Do you feel your teacher cares? 

• Do you feel your principal cares? 

• Do other students treat you kindly? 

How does your school treat students that are in trouble or are getting in trouble? 

Discipline Plan 



• What discipline plan does your school use? 

• What do you think is the most effective school-wide disciplinary plan? 

• Would you use a different one than your school uses? 

If yes which one and why? 

• Are special education children disciplined differently than regular children? 

If not, should they be disciplined differently? 

Additional comments: 

Haskell School Students 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Haskell School Students & Staff 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 


Haskell School 

By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Haskell School 

By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

l m 


Haskell School Student & Principal 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Haskell School Students 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Haskell School Playground 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Haskell School Students 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Ellis School 

By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Ellis School Hallway 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Ellis School Cafeteria 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Ellis School Cafeteria 
By: Jennifer Golden 20 April 2005 

Wiles - 1 

Sherrell Wiles 
English 103 - RRM 
21 April 2005 

People of the West Side Supporting Our Children 

As the youth of today strain against cyclonic forces to stay on top, stay involved 
and stay alive the hands of our communities reach out to help them. Endurance, strength 
and persistence are a few similarities of the mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents 
and friends who have joined the struggle to preserve our communities and children’s 
survival. Former First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton must have been fortunate to 
encounter other people with the same qualities. Her address at the Democratic National 
Convention in 1 996 mimicked what several community members had made every effort 
to do all their life. Tackling the worries of mothers who waited for their children in 
neighborhoods that were drug ridden and full of trouble she reiterated a promise that she 
hoped everyone would embrace and practice. “It takes a village to raise a child. We are 
part of one family. Progress depends on the choices we make today or tomorrow” 
(Madigan 1). 

Several Rockford community members believed and practiced this motto. The 
Northwest Community Center, The Time Game Room and Let’s Talk It Out do not 
encompass the many people who have poured their time and love into providing a 
positive alternative for the children of Rockford. L.C Washington, Stanley St. John and 
Estella Benford were just a few of the influential people committed to the cause of 
protecting and rebuilding the communities of Rockford. 

Wiles - 2 

. .Washington was described as a gentleman who did whatever was necessary to 
organize or operate youth leagues” (Tannenbaum 1). The late Rev. Nathaniel Clanton 
remembered, “(L.C) was just a miracle person, and they don’t stay with you long. He was 
one of the best” (qtd. in Tannenbaum 1). L.C was always willing to give of himself and 
led by example with a no-nonsense way of speaking (Tannenbaum 2). As previous 
Rockford Alderman Victory Bell, D-5, spoke of Washington, “He was someone we 
looked up to. When we talk about the impact of older guys on younger kids, 

[Washington] didn’t do a lot of rapping talk, he always gave a straight answer” (qtd. in 
Tannenbaum 2). From baseball to bowling L.C was an accomplished athlete. L.C 
sprinkled feelings of camaraderie in every league or sport he played (Tannenbaum 1). He 
became known to adults and children simply as “L.C” 

In addition to his lust for the beauty and maintenance of old jalopies, he was also 
a motor hog. The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club on River Street was not a viable outlet 
for the assorted chocolate men of Rockford and their almond babes. The establishment of 
the Brothers MC (motorcycle club) enabled darker hued men to also express their love 
for the throb of a Harley (Tyler int.). As the days approached when the roar of a Harley 
hammered only in his heart, L.C looked for another adventure to initiate at 1536 West 
State Street. 

While a number of children remember him as he promised safe passage as a 
crossing guard, still others remember the arcade he operated on West State Street 
(“Obituaries” 1). The arcade was one of the limited engaging venues for the children of 
the west side of Rockford. The Northwest Community Center and the Booker T. 
Washington Center were of considerable walking range to some children (Hinkle int.). 

Wiles - 3 

The arcade was a gathering of friends and family temporarily escaping the hardships of 
their surroundings. As his sister Rosetta Jones explains, “It was just somewhere to go. 

L.C was just looking out for the kids.” 

Although his wife, Bettye, described it as a “hole in the wall”, the arcade was a 
gateway to teenage sovereignty (Washington, 16 Feb.). The modest savings banked from 
working for Gunite allowed L.C to make generous business pacts (Washington int., 29 
Feb.; Tannenbaum 1). L.C knew the children in the area were of meager incomes so he 
accepted food stamps dollar for dollar (Washington 29 Feb.). Children engaging in 
recreation elsewhere and the harmony of no children for a couple of hours balanced the 
scales of sanity on many evenings. In the beginning it was sparsely filled with some of 
the latest games such as Donkey Kong and Centipede. The course of a nickel dive 
ensured a variety of opponents (Washington int., 16 Feb.). Nevertheless, only the skilled 
players could handle the insatiable palate of Pac Man. Eventually, a couple of pool tables 
were added for the older and more sophisticated teenagers (Jones, Phillip int.). 

Situated in the middle of drug trafficking and blatant prostitution 1536 West State 
was not an ideal position for a youth center, although this was the reality of their 
environment. To the east was the declining O’Donnell’s Super Market and the unsavory 
Taste of Honey nightclub ( City Directory- 1989 ). Rockford Police Lt. Tim Ferguson said, 
“The police have responded to an estimated one call every other day involving 
complaints of public drinking, loud music, loitering and panhandling” (qtd. in Boone 5) 
(See Appendix A). Carol Gladden, a business owner in the neighborhood, “alleged 
O’Donnell’s to be preying on low income residents” (qtd. in Boone 6). This appeared to 
be true as their inventory mainly offered cheap cigarettes, 40-ounce bottles of beer and 

Wiles - 4 

hard liquor sold mostly in pints (Boone 6). As Gladden continues, “They’re taking 
advantage of a poor neighborhood. They’re not giving anything back to the community. 
They’re only taking” (qtd. in Boone 6). In defiance of the law, the prostitutes cashed 
checks for favors just as easily as the West State Currency Exchange that they strutted in 
front of. 

The area to the west was not as enticing as the aromas wafting from Ma & Pa 
Beasley’s Soul Food Restaurant ( City Directory- 1991 ). One’s inclinations were 
heightened to bolt the doors as young gang members blared the latest and loudest rap 
music acquired at Ubiquity Records and Thangs. The strobe lights flashing in the back of 
the store only ignited the rumors of sexual fantasies being fulfilled. The National Pride 
Car Wash was a carousel of the “dopest” rides that appeared to come from questionable 
‘9 to 5’ jobs. “It was Crunk. Everybody was shootin, drinkin’ and fighting from Avon 
(and West State) to Central (and West State) (Jones, Cozetta int.) Rockford resident 
Birdie Ingram agrees, “There would be people just hanging out with nowhere to go and 
nothing to do” (qtd. in Boone 5). 

Mayor Charles Box headed the initiative by the City of Rockford to reclaim the 
neighborhoods with a long term plan called Shopstead. Under the program the city 
purchased buildings on West State, South Main and Seventh streets (Boone 6). These 
structures were either demolished or renovated in order to revolutionize these neglected 
communities. The Time Out Game Room was one such shop leveled to make way for the 
west side’s improvements. 

Under a decision in the federal courts Rockford School District 205 was found 
guilty of decades of intentional discrimination against minority students (Gunnells, “New 

Wiles - 5 

Schools Enjoy. . 3). A plan of action resulted in the building of a 99,000 square foot 
school between Irving Avenue and Central Avenue (Gunnells, “New Schools Enjoy...” 
3). The racial mix of 48% African American, 47% Caucasian, 4% Hispanic and 1% 
Asian/Pacific Islander embraced the new school (Gunnells, “New Schools Buoy...” 5). 
Ellis Arts Academy integrated drama, theatre, music, dance and media arts into all 
aspects of their core subjects (Gunnells, “New Schools Buoy. . .” 1). Ellis was the west 
side’s Phoenix of the 59 properties tom down to reclaim the neighborhood. 

A group of neighbors on the northwest side of Rockford also banded together to 
clean up their streets. Small groupings in each others’ homes led to the formation of the 
Auburn Day Association in the early 1940s (“Northwest” 4). The growth of programs and 
social services available prompted a name change in the 1960s to Northwest Community 
Center (NWCC) (“Community” 1). Millie Slaback, a volunteer office worker and nearby 
home owner of 42 years, witnessed the transformation as the group grew from a 
neighborhood center to a great facility (“Community”!). 

Northwest Community Center is a not-for-profit neighborhood organization 
whose “mission is to provide a wide variety of programs, events and activities that will 
serve to improve and enhance the quality of life in northwest Rockford” (Northwest, 
About ). One man who transferred his essence into maintaining that goal was Stanley St. 
John. Guided by a mudslide of fate St. John became a volunteer after signing up his son 
for baseball. His commitment advanced into an executive director position which he 
maintained for 20 years (“St. John” 1). John Cassioppi, President of the center’s board of 
directors (1990), witnessed first hand St. John’s dedication. Beginning with 120 family 

Wiles - 6 

memberships and a small one room building, St. John set out to build a center that served 
the neighborhood and the entire community (“St. John” 1). 

During the mid 1980s change was sandwiched between hope and obstacles. A fire 
destroyed most of a recently built building (“Northwest” 4). The day care center was 
discontinued due to a lack of funding and the inability of parents to pay the full fees (“St. 
John” 1). The organization held late night dance parties for young teens. Due to 
numerous complaints of vandalism after 12:00 p.m. the center was forced to end all 
dances at 1 1 :30 p.m. This greatly reduced the popularity of such events (“St. John” 1). 

Despite the financial difficulties and limited hours, NWCC remained bonded to 
the growth of its programs and services. The City of Rockford joined the crusade to save 
NWCC and issued a $200,000 grant to construct an additional building (“St. John” 1). An 
anonymous donor gifted money to distinguish Northwest as the only community center at 
the time to boast its own library (“Northwest” 4). Members of the community heard the 
plea for help. Operating hours were increased with additional volunteer staff. A coalition 
with the Rockford Park District added a new playground and athletic fields (Northwest, 
About ). The early 1990s saw a return to the programs that originated Northwest 
Community Center ideals. The addition of 30 acres of land from its neighbor, Amerock, 

and funding from grants, donations and United Way Services produced a community 

Wiles - 7 

center that offered youth an alternative and adults a place to socialize (“Community” 1). 

Figure 1 Mr. Rex Brinkmeir receives a $5,000 check from Jim Peterson, Director of NWCC, as the 
winner of the Starburst Raffle at Bingo 

Figure 2, 3 May 25, 1982 Flag Dedication at NWCC front entrance with Pearson Post 5140 

Today, NWCC has changed greatly in appearance and services provided. The area 

of northwest Rockford consists of blue collar, working class families with an 

approximately 60/40 Caucasian and African American racial blend (Northwest, About ). 

Through a wide assortment of programs NWCC helps over 7, 000 individuals and 

working class families (Northwest, About ) (See Appendix B). Northwest maintains the 

only Fitness Facility on the west side of Rockford. In regard to the unstable income of the 

area, membership rates consist of a low priced monthly fee with no long term contract. A 

Wiles - 8 

computer technology center (C.T.C) was added in 2000. The addition of the C.T.C 
enticed institutes such as Rock Valley College to offer non-credit computer courses. 
(Northwest, Impact ) 

“The Rock River Training Corporation awarded Northwest a grant to provide computer 
base job training skills to adults over age 55 (LLEAP)” (Northwest, Impact ). Bettye 
Washington took advantage of learning computer basics for free through this grant. Now 
she knows how to check her e-mail on the web (Washington int., 16 Feb.). 

Wiles - 9 

As Stanley St. John reflects over his tenure at Northwest Community Center he 


I feel good about being able to accomplish what I set out to 
do - . . .trying to deal with an ever changing social life of 
people and keeping up with that change is what a center is 
all about. At times you think it is too much and you just 
can’t do it, but you do it because you have so much 
support. (“St. John” 1) 

Another society outreach program was founded by Estella Benford. In response to 
increasing juvenile crimes and gang activity she organized youth groups to talk out their 
problems rather than act them out. She christened this group Lets Talk It Out (LTO). Ten 
teens attended the first meeting in a single room at Deliverance Crusader Church. The 
popularity of this youth crusade increased membership and prompted the move to its 
present location at 1045 West State Street. Coincidentally, Ellis Arts Academy was 
experiencing a rebirth of its image to mirror the changing times. 

Under the guidance of the previous executive director, Ralph Hawthorne, LTO 
began renovations for its new home (See Appendix C). In an interview with the Rockford 
Register Star Mr. Hawthorne urged the community to lend a hand. Citizens and business 

Wiles - 10 

responded with an outpouring of money and donations (“Youth” 4). Their devotion to the 
cause allowed Let’s Talk It Out to settle down at their new address on April 8, 1998. 

Continuing in the company of LTO’s current executive director, Andre’ D. Ford, 
the group has grown to over 200 attendees (Ford int.). Their mission has been expanded, 
“to serve and empower at risk and disadvantage youth, training and equipping them with 
successful tools to become leaders in today’s society thereby developing leadership for 
future generations” (Ford int.). 

Figure 4 Group Session n.d. 

Let’s Talk It Out approaches violence prevention and youth development through 
several unique programs as stated in their Community Needs Narrative . No age is too 
young as seen in their Tuesday Night Little League meetings. These sessions promote 
safety awareness and solution thinking techniques (Let’s). Project H.O.P.E is a youth-to- 
youth violence prevention program. “Youth, ages 12-17, who have a history of violence 
or who are at high risk for committing or being a victim of violence, are trained to teach 
violence prevention classes to younger children” (Let’s). In the summertime, Let’s Talk It 

Wiles - 1 1 

Out joins with the Rockford Park District to provide recreational activities under their 
Hot Nights program (Let’s). Members learn positive social skills and good 

Figure 5 Monday Night group n.d. 

Director Andre’ D. Ford recognizes the struggle to redirect today’s youth away 
from a negative path. “I plan to add my sweat and tears to every fallen child’s struggle for 
life. LTO will continue to be known as a stepping stone out of despair” (Ford int.). 

Figure 6 Members enjoying basketball game during a break, n.d. 

Wiles - 12 

L.C Washington, Stanley St. John, and Estella Benford all believed that “it takes a 
village to raise a child” (Madigan 1). They demonstrated to Rockford that not only formal 
organizations are striving to improve life in the community. The Time Out Game Room, 
Northwest Community Center and Let’s Talk It Out shared identical foundations; save 
our children. Meetings that started in garages, basements, churches and old storefronts 
blossomed with messages of hope to be instilled in our youth. Schools, churches, park 
districts and child-care centers are a few of the elements of every “village”. Neighbors, 
friends, after-school curriculum, Big Brother and Big Sister programs contribute time and 
experience to help single, traditional, blended and non-traditional families’ provide 
guidance for “our” children. 

Stanley St. John and Estella Benford continue to witness how their efforts have 
altered the Rockford community. L.C Washington departed this earthly life during the 
community’s molting phase. However, the commitment of “village” participants and his 
memory will always be remembered in parallel with the late Rev. Nathaniel Clanton’s 
words, “Washington came in and gave all he had ‘til he got to where he couldn’t 
anymore. Even in his last stages, when I visited him, he asked, ‘Pastor, is there anything I 
could do for you?”’ (qtd. in Tannenbaum 2). 



Works Cited 

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Jan. 2000: A5-6. 

City of Rockford, City Directory - 1989 . Missouri: Polk, 1989: 385. 

City of Rockford, City Directory - 1991 . Missouri: Polk, 1991: 381. 

“Community Center Keeps Kids Busy.” Rockford Register Star 2 Sep. 1991 : Bl. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 14 Apr. 2005. 

Ford, Andre’ D. Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2005. 

Gunnells, Charlene. “New Schools Enjoy First Day Success.” Rockford Register Star 6 
Jan. 1999: A3. 

Gunnells, Charlene. “New School Buoy Hopes for New Outlook.” Rockford Register 
Star 5 Jan. 1999: A1+. 

Hinkle, Brenda. Personal interview. 1 Apr. 2005. 

Jones, Cozetta. Personal interview. 9 Apr. 2005. 

Jones, Phillip. Personal interview. 29 Mar. 2005. 

Jones, Rosetta. Personal interview. 29 Mar. 2005. 

Let’s Talk It Out, Illinois. Community Needs Narrative. Rockford, IL, n.d. 

Madigan, Charles M., et al. “First Lady Fires Back at Her Foes.” Chicago Tribune 28 
Aug. 1996: A1+. 

“Northwest Community Center Celebrates 45 th Year.” Rockford Register Star 4 Mar. 
1993: 4. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 14 Apr. 2005. 


Northwest Community Center, Illinois. About Us Updated 10 Apr. 2005. 10 Apr. 2005. 


Northwest Community Center, Illinois. Newsletter . Updated 10 Apr. 2005. 10 Apr. 2005. 


“Obituaries Cont.” Rockford Register Star online 4 May 1999: B4. 9 Feb. 2005. 


“St. John Will Step Down at Northwest” Rockford Register Star 12 Jul. 1990: A1+. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 14 Apr. 2005. 
Tannenbaum, Fred. “Rockford’s Black Baseball Pioneer, Washington, Dies.” Rockford 
Register Star 6 May 1999: A1+. Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
Accessed 8 Feb. 2005. 

Tyler, Veronica. Personal interview. 31 Mar. 2005. 

Washington, Bettye. Personal interview. 16 Feb. 2005. 

Washington, Bettye. Personal interview. 29 Mar. 2005. 

“Youth Ministry Needs Building Supplies.” Rockford Register Star 5 Dec. 1998: A4. 
Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. Accessed 14 Apr. 2005. 

ite Street in Rockford. Neighbors have complained that drug 
Tsactions are taking place in the parking lot. ' 

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There is violence in every town. In February of this year Rockford was hit with a 
spree of violence, all within a week. First a young man was shot and killed at a South 
Main convenience store, then an older gentleman was killed when he approached some 
people breaking into his car, then the last tragic incident was in Concord Commons, 
which is a housing project on Rockford’s west side, where a 16 and 18 year old were 

An article in the Rockford Register Star says, “People want a safe place.” 
Ceasefire, a violence prevention group, coordinated a forum at the Washington Park 
Recreation Center, where they held burning candles which might help resist the violence 
and to remember the boys. At this rally Mayor Doug Scott, Ralph Hawthorne, Ceasefire 
Director, Housing Authority Executive Director, Lewis Jordan and a pastor form 
Macedonia Baptist Church spoke to over 100 people giving them words of 
encouragement. (“People want a safe place” Rockford Register Star , 2005). 

Dr.Gary Slutkin M.D. organized Ceasefire in 1995. He got together with Chicago 
leaders, clergy, and community and law enforcement to develop and implement his new 
strategy for violence reduction. (Slutkin, Gary). 

The first results of ceasefire, an initiative of the Chicago Project for Violence 
Prevention, show an average of 45% reduction in shootings in the five major 
neighborhoods, some showing up to a 67% reductions. Ceasefire follows an 8-point plan 
to stop the shootings. (Slutkin, Gary). 


• Community based violence prevention coalition in each neighborhood 
attended by key partners 



• Delivered to highest risk persons regularly by: community, outreach 
workers, clergy, probation, and police. 


• Outreach to gain knowledge of potential conflicts in the community. 

• Intervene in all conflicts; retaliation is not the answer; prevent all violence. 


• Community, outreach workers, clergy, law enforcement, and probation 
respond to each shooting. 


• Linking all high risks persons, including ex-offenders with: safe places, 
job training and opportunities, job creation, schools, GED and recreation. 

• Available counseling and drug treatment services. 


• Community by community lists of safe havens; sites promoted. 


• Minimum of assigned supervision (including violence prevention classes) 
for anyone charged with illegal guns, carrying and use, including UUW 
and straw purchasers; all gun cases taken seriously. 


• Serious prosecutions and sentences (including federal) for shooting or 
involvement in shooting. (8 Point Plan to Stop Shooting , Pamphlet). 

So with these steps they plan to deliver the message No Shooting, intervening to 
resolve conflicts and provide alternatives to violence and public education that violence is 
never acceptable. They are seeking to save lives, keep the young people from ruining 
their lives through violence and to provide them with alternatives and to make the 
neighborhoods safe (The Campaign to Stop Shooting , Pamphlet). 


In an interview with Ralph Hawthorne, Director of Rockford Ceasefire, he 
discussed the long-term goals of Ceasefire. He indicated that there goal is to stop the 
shootings in targeted areas. 

They are campaigning to stop shootings and address gang members and those 
high risks for gang activities. 

He said that they discuss things like how to make positive decisions, asking 
questions like, “Do you want to live your life in a 4 x 9 cell?” and thought provoking 
questions like, “Did you know you could get 4-16 years for carrying a gun? etc” 

Ceasefire has to get donations through different activities. Recently a fundraising 
drive to help meet the budget was held, they are presently $50,000 short of the goal. 

Ceasefire also has sponsors, The State of Illinois, who recently said they could not 
fund them anymore, The City of Rockford, different businesses, concerned residents, and 
churches. In an article in the Rockford Register Star Winnebago County Sheriff Dick 
Meyers said Tuesday that city and county authorities plan to use part of a state grant to 
help fund Ceasefire. Meyers was not sure when the state money will be secured, but he 
said city and county officials agreed to give Ceasefire $32,000. The new Wal-Mart store, 
which opened on Wednesday on the city’s northwest side, gave them $2000. (“Sheriff 
plans to send funds to Ceasefire” Rockford Register Star , 2005) 

In the conversation with Mr. Hawthorne he spoke about how Ceasefire has helped 
the Rockford community. He said that Rockford has experienced a 11.3% decrease in 
violence overall and a 33% reduction in homicides last year compared to 2003, and also 

- - 




gang related homicides has a 100% decrease and firearm homicides had a 57% decrease. 
(Hawthorne, Ralph, Reductions in Homicides and Shootings in Rockford pamphlet) 

Ralph says that they are expecting to grow. They are working to build the 
community coalition and community mobilization. 

They have about 160 people who have volunteered, and about 60 community 
agencies involved in our community coalition. In an article in the Rockford Register Star 
one lady tells how she ended up being a volunteer for Ceasefire, she said she saw their 
office at Concord Commons, which is where she used to buy, sell, and use drugs. She 
talked about how she walked into the office and asked what everything was about. Soon 
after she became a volunteer and began marching in the streets. 

From the information that was provided Ceasefire seems to have had a huge effect 
on the community both with the youth and with recruiting volunteers. In the future 
Ceasefire will have made some of the communities a better place to live. The hope is that 
they can continue to get support for the program. 

Continuing to focus on the youth, there is another program in some of the 
Rockford churches that a lot of people do not know about. This program is called Awana, 
which stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed taken from 2 Timothy 2:15. 

Awana is an international, Bible centered children’s and youth ministry providing 
local churches with weekly clubs and programs for preschool through high school. Their 
goal is to equip churches to reach children and teenagers, and their families with the 
gospel of Christ and train them to serve him. (Awana website 2 February 2005) 


Awana began in 1950 as a youth program at the North Side Gospel Center in 
Chicago, Illinois. Lance Latham, the church pastor, worked with Art Rorheim to develop 
a program that would appeal to young people, reach them with the gospel and train them 
in the Lord’s work. Other churches heard about the success of the Awana program and 
asked if they could use it. By 1960, Awana had registered 900 clubs (Awana website 2 
February 2005). 

Today more than 10,400 churches in the United States run Awana. There are 
clubs in all 50 states. Awana can also be found in 3,200 churches in 109 other countries 
and six continents. Jack Eggar is the President/CEO and Art Rorheim serves as the Co- 
founder/President Emereties (Awana website 2 February 2005). 

The CUBBIES is the AWANA preschoolers group and is built on two premises: 
Young children can and should receive spiritual training, and home is the primary place 
for spiritual training. The preschool program goal is to reach and train kids for Jesus 
Christ. Games, puppets, crafts, awards, and other activities transform the preschool 
program into a lively weekly experience where fun and learning go hand and hand. In 
two years the CUBBIES will have learned approximately 55 memory verses and up to 
120 additional verses if they complete the extra credit curriculum. (Awana website 2 
February 2005) 

SPARKS is the Awana club for children in kindergarten through second grade 
and it helps build on the material taught in the preschool club. The aim of the club is to 
take youngsters a step deeper into God’s Word while giving unsaved boys and girls 
regular opportunities to hear the gospel and come to faith in Jesus Christ. The Sparks 


program is firmly grounded in scripture. The three handbooks feature: Basic truths about 
God, Jesus Christ, salvation and the bible. An increased emphasis on scripture memory, 
in three years, a child will learn and review 68 verses, many of which cover salvation and 
key Christian doctrine, and clear and consistent presentation of the gospel message. 
(Awana website 2 February 2005) 

Sandra Hawthorne is one of the leaders of the Sparks club group at her church. 
The kids are very competitive when it comes to learning their verses. They are always 
trying to out do each other. This is a great program for all kids and youth. They learn 
bible verses and they had an opportunity to recite the verses in a quiz bowl last month. It 
was very exciting. (Hawthorne, Sandra) 

The next group is the T & T, which means Truth & Training. The name reflects 
the passion of Awana to teach third through sixth grade boys and girls the truth of God’s 
Word and to train them to follow Christ in their daily lives. Evangelism and discipleship 
go hand in hand in the third through sixth grade program. By the time a child has 
completed T & T, he/she will have learned and reviewed approximately 310 verses, 
studied dozens of passages from the Old and New Testaments, regularly hear and read 
the gospel message, discover the Bible responses to questions like “How does God want 
me to live my life?” and memorize verses to back up their answers, and complete mission 
projects that help them see the world through God’s eyes (Awana website 2 February 



Then there is the Jr. Varsity club group. From mature Christians to unchurched 
nonbelievers, seventh and eight graders have wide ranging spiritual, emotional, social and 
physical needs. One approach cannot fit them all. Jr. Varsity, their ministry for junior- 
high students, meets the needs of youth at three different levels. One level (Come See) 
targets unsaved youth, a second level (Come Follow) helps young or nominal believers 
grow in their faith, and another level (Come Serve) trains committed teenagers for 
leadership, ministry service and a deeper walk with God. JV helps instill remarkable 
change in the kids. After two years in the program, the young people will have recited up 
to 334 verses, been exposed to the gospel on a weekly basis and have studied real-life 
topics (Awana website 2 February 2005). 

The last program is Journey 24-7, which is the high school program. It features 
an energetic look, enhanced content, life application and an emphasis on scripture 
memory. These new materials provide youth pastors and leaders with relevant tools for 
in-depth, focused discipleship. The best part of 24-7 is its flexibility. Youth groups can 
use the entire program or select only portions they need. Whatever the choice, 24-7 offers 
them adaptable alternative grounded solidly in the Word (Awana website 2 February 

This writer spoke to a parent about the Awana program his kids attend and he said 
that they love it they cannot wait until Wednesday night gets here (Mabry, Corey). 

Here are some personal testimonies: “My wife has been a leader in Awana for 
four years. My kids have been in Awana for a number of years. Awana does a lot of 
wonderful things. It has been a great experience.” (Dr. George Bama). “God has used 


Awana as a powerful witness to educate kids about Him. Through Awana I was 
impacted by Scripture memory and learning the Bible.” (Steve Mason, Guitarist, Jars of 
Clay). “Awana is such a vital ministry because it gets the gospel out to kids around the 
word.” (Rick Amato, Worldwide evangelist and author) (Awana website 2 February 

If one is looking for a church that has the Awana program one can try First 
Evangelical Free Church, St Luke Missionary Baptist Church, Community Bible Church, 
Elim Baptist Church, Kishwaukee Baptist Church, Maywood Evangelical Free Church, 
Lincolnwood Baptist Church, Pine Grove Free Methodist Church and Windsor Baptist 
Church. One can go to the website for a complete listing of Churches (Awana website 2 

February 2005). 

Works Cited 

AW ANA. 2 February 2005. 
AW AN A. 30 March 2005. 
Awana at St Luke M. B. Church. Photos by Sandra Hawthorne. 12 April 2005. 
Ceasefire Rockford. The Campaign to Stop the Shooting. Pamphlet. No Date. 
CEASEFIRE. Reductions in Homicides and Shootings in Rockford. Pamphlet. 4 
January 2005. 

CEASEFIRE. 8 Point Plan to stop shootings The Chicago Project for Violence 
Prevention. September 2003. 

CEASEFIRE. 7 February 2005. 
CEASEFIRE. 30 March 2005. 
Hawthorne, Ralph. Personal Interview. 8 March 2005. 

Hawthorne, Ralph. Personal Interview. 12 March 2005. 

Hawthorne, Ralph. Personal Interview. 28 March 2005. 

Hawthorne, Ralph. Personal Interview. 9 April 2005. 

Hawthorne, Sandra. Personal Experience. Awana Leader. 

Mabry, Corey. Telephone Interview. 29 March 2005. 

People want a safe place. Rockford Register Star . 1 1 February 2005. 
Sheriff plans to send funds to Ceasefire. Rockford Register Star . 13 April 2005 
Slutkin, Gary M.D. Gary Slutkin, MD, Professor, Epidemiology and International 

Health, University of Illinois School of Public Health Director, Chicago Project 
for Violence Prevention and Ceasefire , n.d. 

Support Grows For Ceasefire. Rockford Register Star . 30 September 2004 

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Korean Hobby in the United States 

Silvestre Picaz 
Rock Valley College 

Scott Fisher 
April 25, 2005 
ENG 103-DWX 

Picaz - 1 

American Hobby in the United States 

Spinning back-kicks, lightning-fast punches, and 360 degree flips in the air are just a few 
of the movements involved in the sport of Tae Kwon Do. Individuals who practice Tae Kwon 
Do consider this sport to be a sport for life because one is never finished learning. There is 
always room for improvement. Tae Kwon Do can help a person to be more at peace with his or 
her inner self and become one with the universe. 

Although Tae Kwon Do is an Oriental form of self-defense, it is widely practiced in the 
United States and throughout the world. Tae Kwon Do has reached big cities like New York and 
Chicago, as well as smaller parts of the world including Rockford, Illinois. 

Literally speaking, Tae Kwon Do means the “way of foot and fist” ( Tae Kwon Do). 

This art is based on the ancient methods of Korean self-defense (Tae Kwon Do). The name Tae 
Kwon Do refers to the modem Korean karate. “It is a combination of Korean ancestral 
combative arts, Tae Kyon and Subak, and the Kata (formal exercises) of the Okinawan Shuri-te 
and the Naha-te schools of karate (Schmidt 3). The exact date of the beginning of Tae Kwon Do 
is unknown even with the advanced technology that is available nowadays. However, there is 
evidence that proves that Tae Kwon Do has been around since the year 2333 B.C. in Korea 
(“History of Tae Kwon Do”) (see figure 1 on page 8). 

It is necessary to understand that Korea has always had a strong tradition in unarmed 
combat systems. Also, Korea is a country that has been subject to war (Falzone 1). In the past, 
many countries tried to occupy Korea because of Korea’s low level of progress. This low level 
of progress was due to three main factors: the “Koreans were a nomadic type of people, there 

Picaz - 2 

was a late introduction of metal to Korea, and the Chinese administrated over the Koreans” 
(Falzone 1). 

The first major event that provided the reason for the unification of Korea, was the 
invasion of the Korean peninsula by the Chinese Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty in 108 B.C. 
(Falzone 1 ). In order to defeat and drive out the Chinese people, the Koreans formed their own 
power bases, or kingdoms. These kingdoms were the Shilla, Koguryo, and Baekje. The fist 
kingdom, the Shilla (57 B.C.) covered the south and eastern parts of the Korean peninsula. The 
second kingdom, the Koguryo (37 B.C.) occupied the northern part of the Korean peninsula and 
southern and western parts of Manchuria. The third kingdom, the Baekje, also known as the 
Paekche, spread around the central and western parts of the peninsula along the Han river (18 
B.C.) (“History of Tae Kwon Do” 1). 

The Koguryo people organized a strong warrior army known as the “Sonbae.” The 
Sonbae “lived in large groups, studied history and literary arts, and were known for their virtue 
and bravery” (History of Tae Kwon Do). Due to the large size and mobility of the Koguryo 
kingdom, the Chinese were unable to maintain control over this group. However, “constant 
Chinese pressure forced the Koguryo to develop personal self-defense skills for survival” 
(Falzone 2). Tae Kwon Do was know in this area by the name of “Subak” during these early 
times. “Historical records confirm that Subak (Tae Kwon Do) contests were held at various 
festivals and rituals (“History of Tae Kwon Do” 2). 

The Shilla kingdom was by far the weakest power base in military terms of the three 
kingdoms. Nonetheless, the Shilla established the Hwarang - “a warrior code based on high 
moral standards similar to the Sonbae of Koguryo” (“History of Tae Kwon Do” 2). The 

Picaz - 3 

Hwarang followed a number of ethical values including promoting charity, generosity, 
compassion, and never using their martial art skills without good and proper reason (“History of 
Tae Kwon Do” 2). Thanks to the skilled fighting qualities of the Hwarang, the Shilla kingdom 
survived disasters and invasions on repeated occasions. 

The Baekje kingdom was also under constant attacks including attacks from the Koguryo 
kingdom. Therefore, the Baekje tried various diplomatic maneuvers and finally joined forces 
with Japan, and also allied with the Shilla kingdom (Falzone 3). However, the Shilla kingdom 
drove the Japanese from the Korean peninsula and defeated both the Koguryo and the Baekje 
kingdoms. This was the first time a unified state covered all of Korea (Falzone 3). 

In turn, the spirit of the Hwarang developed fully and became known all throughout 
Korea. The Hwarang warriors were trained in fighting styles that involved the use of spears, 
swords, bows, and different types of hooks. These warriors were also trained physically, 
mentally, and spiritually. The use of katas, or imaginary fights, as well as hand and foot fighting 
techniques was emphasized in order to harden their bodies (Falzone 3). 

The training of martial arts expanded from the military to athletic competition. However, 
with no other enemies to worry about, internal succession rivalries for power eventually and 
dramatically weakened the state (Falzone 3). In 935 A.D., the Shilla kingdom collapsed; thus, 
giving rise to the next dynasty and martial art form of Korea (Falzone 3). The Koryo Dynasty 
ascended after the Shilla kingdom and again brought unity to the Korean nation. It was during 
this period that the martial art Tae Kwon Do became more systematized and also a requirement 
for selection and training in the army (“History of Tae Kwon Do” 3). In fact, format and 
judgment of the martial art Tae Kwon Do became standardized with rules and elements such as 

Picaz - 4 

sparring and breaking boards of solid wood (see figures 2 & 3 on page 8). 

In 1592, the Japanese invaded Korea, but the Koreans defended their country by using 
warfare tactics as well as martial arts. Eventually, the Koreans forced the Japanese to give up the 
invasion. However, early in the 1900’s, Japan invaded Korea once more. In 1904, Japan had 
almost complete control of Korea. “On August 22, 1910, the Japanese government gained 
complete control with the signing of the annexation treaty by the Prime Minister” of Korea 
(“History of Tae Kwon Do” 4). “Between 1909-1945, the Japanese forbid any use of martial 
arts” (Falzone 4), and punished those who were found practicing Tae Kwon Do or nay other 
forms of karate. Nonetheless, Tae Kyon and Subak were “secretly practiced in spite of Japanese 
threat of torture or death” (Falzone 4). 

The main reason Japan invaded Korea was to take over the natural resources that were 
abundant in Korea and use them to enhance the prosperity of the Japanese. Also, Japan wanted 
its invasion of Korea to serve as a spring board for Japan’s invasion to China later on (“History 
of Tae Kwon Do” 4). 

During this period, the Japanese took some of the most skilled (in martial arts) Korean 
Masters and forced them to teach and train Japanese soldiers. However, the Japanese combined 
their own style of karate with other forms of Korean martial arts to form a totally new style, but 
with a similar flow of forms. The Japanese then introduced this own new style of karate to the 
Koreans in 1943 (History of Tae Kwon Do 5). However, only Japanese forms were allowed to 
be practiced, thus, suppressing any Korean martial art. 

However, on “August 15, 1945 Korea was finally liberated from the Japanese colonial 
rule” (History of Tae Kwon Do 5). Nonetheless, the Soviet Union invaded Korea from the north; 

Picaz - 5 

taking over the whole north peninsula of Korea. This was followed by an invasion from the 
United States landing on Inchon and spreading throughout Seoul and the southern half of the 
Korean peninsula (History of Tae Kwon Do 5). In 1945, Korea was divided into two sections, 
North Korea and South Korea (Falzone 4). In 1950, soon “after the liberation from Japan, the 
martial arts began to grow and expand once again (Falzone 4). 

During and after World War H, a great number of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese 
immigrants emigrated to the United States in order to pursue a better life. Among these 
immigrants were many skilled people including Masters of Tae Kwon Do and other martial art 
styles. In order to start a business, these Masters established martial art schools and started 
teaching self-defense to the American people. Also, a great deal of soldiers from the U.S. army, 
traveled to Asian countries during World War II. As a result, many of these soldiers learned 
various styles and systems of self-defense from these countries. When the American soldiers 
returned to their homeland, many established schools and taught what they had previously 
learned. Thus, the martial arts gained popularity in the United States after World War II. 

In 1946, the first conference was held in an attempt to unify the various styles of martial 
arts into a single style. However, the attempt was unsuccessful although the term Tae Kwon Do 
began to gain popularity as the symbol for the unification of Korean martial arts (Falzone 4). 
Nevertheless, Tae Kwon Do “was officially recognized as part of the Korean tradition and culture 
on April 11, 1955” (Guiness 175). 

In 1961, it was “decreed that the Tang Soo Do Association was officially renamed the 
“Korean Tae Kwon Do Association” (Falzone 4). Thus, Tae Kwon Do became a national sport 
as well as the official name for the Korean martial arts. 

Picaz - 6 

Moreover, “the first World Tae Kwon Do Championships were organized by the Korean 
Tae Kwon Do Association and were held in Seoul, South Korea in 1 973” (Guiness 1 75). After 
this event, the World Tae Kwon Do Federation was then formed. A year later, in 1974, the 
United States Tae Kwon Do Union was founded. Tae Kwon Do was included as a demonstration 
sport at the 1988 and 1992 Games. In 2000, Tae Kwon Do was considered a full-medal sport 
(Guiness 175). 

Recently, the use of martial arts was renewed in the United States after the terrorist attack 
that occurred on September 11, 2001 (Beasley 21). The Americans felt they needed to be more 
alert and ready should anything like this event happen again. The martial arts spread widely after 
this event happened, to the point where local schools offered Tae Kwon Do and other martial 
arts. One of these schools is Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. RVC offers Tae Kwon 
Do and Shoto Kan classes to its students. The instructor of Tae Kwon Do is James J. Falzone 
(Adjunct Faculty at RVC). Master Falzone is a 7 th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a 5 th 
Degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do; he has had more than 40 years of experience in Tae Kwon 
Do. Master Falzone recognizes that Tae Kwon Do is not an ordinary sport, but it “helps to 
discipline, motivate, and build character in the individual” (Falzone Interview). Master Falzone 
acknowledges that “the discipline and respect learned from Tae Kwon Do always pay off in life” 
(Falzone Interview). 

Furthermore, this writer has had experience in Tae Kwon Do as well as other forms of 
martial arts and can assure that discipline is probably the most the aspect most emphasized on in 
a martial arts school. One of the things that this writer has found to be relatively important in his 
life is self-discipline. Self-discipline has allowed this writer to do well in school, respect his 

Picaz - 7 

family at home, be a good citizen, and avoid trouble whenever possible. 

Since the art of Tae Kwon Do strives to develop the positive aspects of an individual’s 
personality such as respect, courtesy, trustworthiness, humility, courage, self-control, 
perseverance (Benko 1) and many other positive qualities, families started enrolling their 
children in Tae Kwon Do classes in order to improve these traits in their children. 

Among many martial art institutions in the United States, there is one in the area of 
Rockford, Illinois (see figure 4 on page 9), which emphasizes all these positive aspects of 
personality. This facility is called “Jung’s Martial Arts Academy” and was established in 1968 
(Jung’s Martial). The owner and teacher of this academy is Grand Master Won Sun Jung (see 
figures 5 & 6 on page 9). Master Jung is a 9 th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do as well as Hap 
Ki Do. He is the “former president of the American Tae Kwon Do Federation (1992-1997) and 
the World Hap Ki Do Federation (1985-1991) (Grandmaster 48). 

However, Master Jung and Master Falzone are not the only ones who teach Tae Kwon Do 
in the Rockford area. There are many other schools throughout Rockford and neighboring 
counties that also teach different styles of martial arts. 

In addition, Tae Kwon Do can be practiced by everyone. There is no age limit, gender 
preference or race selection required to practice this Korean martial art. Nonetheless, it is the 
mental, spiritual, and physical effort that the individual puts forth that develops and shapes the 
character of the individual and how he or she perceives others. 

“Learning karate is a step toward perfection of character, a release of negative emotion, and a 
desire to become at peace with one’s environment” (Beasley 38). 



Picaz - 8 

Figure 1 

Painting of an early form of Tae Kwon Do found in 
Seoul, South Korea. 

-2333 B.C. 

Figure 2 

In most promotions of Tae Kwon Do, individuals 
are required to break boards of wood 
to demonstrate their abilities. 

Figure 3 

This individual is breaking a board with a 
high section back kick. 







Picaz - 9 

Figure 4 

Jung’s Martial Arts Academy 
4215 E. State St. 
Rockford, IL 

Figure 5 

Figure 6 

Master Jung is the person 
in the middle performing 
the flying kick. 

This is Master Won S. Jung. He is 
A 9 th Degree Black Belt in 
Tae Kwon Do and 

U o r-\ 


Picaz - 10 

Works Cited 

“Ancient Sparring.” No Author. No Date. Photograph. Online. Internet. 15 April 2005. URL: 

Beasley, Jerry. Mastering Karate . Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2003. 20-38. 

Benko, James S. Ph.D. “Philosophy of Tae Kwon Do.” International Tae K won-Do 
Association . 1974-2004. 2 pp. Online. Internet. 15 April 2005. URL: 

Breaking Boards. No Author. No Date. Photograph. Online. Internet. 15 April 2005. URL: common/images/tkd3.jpg. 

Falzone, James J. A History of the Korean Martial Arts . Article. No Date. 8 pp. Rock Valley 
College, Rockford, IL. 

Falzone, Jim. Personal Interview. Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL. 13 April 2005. 

Guiness. The Guiness Book of Sports Records . Ed. Mark Young. Stamford, CT: Guiness 
Publishing Ltd., 1997. 175. 

“Grandmaster Jung Sun Won.” Tae Kwon Do and Korean Martial Arts . No Author. 46-49 pp. 
Ed. Paul Clifton. Vol. 8. Issue 8. September 2003. 

“High Section Back Kick.” No Author. No Date. Photograph. Online. Internet. 1 5 April 
2005. URL: main.html. 

“History of Tae Kwon Do.” A Christian Response . No Date. 5 pp. Online. Internet. 2 Mar. 
2005. URL: 

Jung’s Martial Arts Academy. The Ultimate in Self-Defense to Self-Improvement . Pamphlet. 

Picaz - 1 1 

Picaz, Silvestre. Jung’s Martial Arts Academy . Rockford, IL. Picture. 15 April 2005. 

Schmidt, Richard J. & James L. Hesson. Karate . Greenview, IL: Scott, Foresman & Company, 
1989. 1-4. 

“Tae Kwon Do - History and Tradition.” The History of Tae Kwon Do . No Author, No Date. 

1 p. Online. Internet. 30 Mar. 2005. URL: 


Kellie Symonds 
Scott Fisher 
Eng 103 RRM 
April 20, 2005 

The Village of Winnebago: Yesterday and Today 

As one drives down Highway 20 on a sunny day, he or she can look around at the 
small little towns and try to imagine how they grew out of barren Illinois sod. What made 
those early settlers want leave their homes, families and risk the unknown of a new territoiy? 
What made them decide to call this place home? Today’s travelers’ thoughts are far removed 
from the founders of yesteryear. In Winnebago, many make a quick stop for gas and a meal 
or frozen custard at Culvers and never realize that a quarter mile down the road, a small town 
with an interesting history sits waiting to tell its story. 

Traveling between Chicago and Galena is what gave life to the small village west of 
Rockford known as Winnebago. There were two railways that made Winnebago a stopping 
place. The Galena-Chicago Railway was the first to pass through Winnebago in 1 852. (Hilton 
186). The Interurban Railway, which was a commuter type electric rail, made hourly stops as 
it went from Freeport to Rockford with other connections to Cherry Valley, Beloit and 
Janesville. It made traveling possible for as little as .25 cents from 1903 to 1930 (Winnebago 
Sesquicentennial 28). 

Travelers were refreshed between Chicago and Galena, just as they are today. 

Highway 20 has replaced the railways and the various businesses at the ‘Winnebago Comers’ 

continues to draw the travelers. 


Winnebago does not have impressive buildings or a downtown that draws attention 
but what is impressive is its long standing opposition to alcohol within their boundaries, as 
well as their commitment to serve their country and community from the Civil War through 
Iraq. They also find time to invest in their community from the volunteer fire department to 
writing the history of the township. 

The Settlement 

The Winnebago Indians were the original settlers of the area west of the Mississippi. 
The Winnebago tribe cam from the western ocean and headed east and settled in the territory 
of Illinois. They were later driven north into Wisconsin and again founding a settlement near 
the Fox River. However, they did claim territorial rights to Illinois according to the treaty of 
Prairie De Chien. In the treaty of Prairie De Chien (August 1, 1829) it “alludes to a 
Winnebago village” near the Pecatonica River (Church 567). In a few short years following 
the treaty, families came from the eastern states of Pennsylvannia, Virginia and New York 
and established settlements in what is now know as Winnebago Township. 

There exists some conflicts regarding dates and names of the first settlers. According 
to one record, the first to arrive in the township was David Adams, in section 14, in 1835. His 
brother followed in 1837 and settled in section 35(Winnebago 5). In another source. Middle 
Creek and Winnebago Cemeteries and Area by Faye and Doloras Hilton, the first to arrive 
was stated as Alby Briggs in 1838. 

There were several name changes of these early settlements which have been the cause 
of some confusion when referring the Village of Winnebago. The township and the 
settlement of Westfield were also known by the same names at various times. Westfield was 
settled in 1837, ( in some sources mentions La Prairie), and 1849 was officially recorded with 


Winnebago County as Elida Township, then 1855 was changed to Winnebago Township 
(Winnebago Sesquicentennial 5). Westfield and Winnebago are a few miles apart but seem 
to share names and history of settling this section of Winnebago County. 

The ‘Other Winnebago’ 

Following the treaty of Prairie De Chien, Cathrine Myott, a descendant of the tribe of 
Winnebago Indians, was given a land grant by the United States Government. Her section of 
land was in the area of Auburn and North Main Streets in Rockford, Illinois (Nelson 46). 

In an effort to obtain the county seat, Nicholas Boilvain had acquired the land from 
Cathrine Myott for $800. The land was platted and subdivided into 2436 lots, with streets and 
alleys in 1 836 (Church 690). The name that was given to this new town was Winnebago, it 
later became known as the ‘other Winnebago’. This ‘paper village’, according to C. H. 

Nelson in his book Sinnissippi Saga, failed to receive enough votes to win the county seat in 
1839. There is now a cemetery where the ‘other Winnebago’ had begun. 

The Village of Winnebago 

In 1852 the Galena-Chicago came through the region from Chicago to the Illinois 
River (Hilton 1 86). Duncan Ferguson, County Surveyor, platted and mapped out the streets 
and alleys of the Town of Winnebago and recorded the survey in December of 1853 in 
Rockford. Thomas D. Robertson was the owner of the property known as the Town of 
Winnebago (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 8). This brought new growth to the area west of 

Dr. Joseph Warner was the first station master at the Winnebago Depot. His home 
was the first built in the new community in 1854. It still stands near the comer of Elida Street 
and Main Street even today (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 9). Winnebago Depot began to 



take shape in February 9, 1855. However, the certificate of incorporation as a municipality in 
the State of Illinois was not issued until March 30, 1878 (Secretary 26, 27). 

Winnebago’s Legacy 

Winnebago residents have a legacy of serving their country and community. One 
notable woman, Mrs.Upright (Merchant) had 10 sons who served in the Civil War. In the 
third session of the 46 th Congress a bill was passed to grant to Mrs.Upright (Merchant) a 
pension for the loss of her sons as well as to grant the discharge from service her eleventh son 
who had served for five years. This proposition was not petitioned by Mrs. Upright herself 
but on her behalf (Winnebago Historical 53). A total of 150 men from the township 
volunteered. Many of them had just begun to settle in the area and were still clearing the land 
in 1861 when the war began (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 9). 

Shortly following the end of the Civil War the Village of Winnebago was the first in 
the county to unveil a memorial to honor those soldiers who had died. In 1 868 the 
Winnebago Memorial Association was formed and the money was raised to provide a place 
for the burial of local soldiers, ‘so that no soldiers dying in Winnebago should be buried in 
‘potters field’ (Hilton 184). The monument was not dedicated until August of 1899 (Hilton 

It been had recorded in the local newspaper, Winnebago Reflector March 1919, that 
40 men had enlisted in World War I but also died during training. In the 1920 census there 
was listed 30 widows from the Village of Winnebago. It was the largest number listed of all 
other ‘occupations’ in Winnebago (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 45, 46). World War II also 
was well served by several men as well as women. Two young men who have been honored 


by the Village with streets bearing their names: Soper Street for Harold Soper, a fighter pilot, 
and Runyard Street in honor of Sgt. Fredrick Runyard (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 51). 

Since September 1 1, 2001 many from the Village of Winnebago have volunteered to 
serve their country. This past year, 2005, as the war in Iraq continues, there were more than 
70 young men and women as well as older men stationed world wide representing their 
community and country. We have been fortunate that at the time of this writing there have 
been no casualties. 

At a recent meeting, March 2005, the Village Board expanded its community welfare 
to assist active duty military personal with their utilities. The water, sewer and garbage fees 
will be deferred during their time in active duty status. This is another example of their 
concern for the community and their appreciation of those who make the sacrifice of serving 
(Village Minutes). 

Winnebago’s Folklore 

There has been an image that the village has maintained since it founding regarding 
their position opposing alcohol ‘or at least the sale of it within their boundaries. Whiskey 
became an outlaw and the community banded together to take it on. A saloon owner, Sam 
Thompson, who refused to leave town at the urging of the people of Winnebago, was taken by 
rail west of town to a culvert known as “Grippen’s Culvert”. He was dumped into the water. 
They eventually fished him out and made him walk back to town (Hilton 188). This was not 
the first time he had opposed the village but it was the last. He had been previously been 
warned but ignored their threats. He enlisted in the infantry and died in service on May 6, 

1862 (Hilton 188). 



Word soon got to Rockford about Winnebago’s determination to keep their 
community free from the sin of whiskey. Those in Rockford who favored whiskey thought 
they would set the little community straight and about 50 men went on their way to do just 
that. Mr. Savage and Rev. Jacobs stood their ground against the fifty, but apparently the men 
from Rockford had tipped the bottle on their way and weren’t in the best form to be fighting. 
Mr. Jacobs, known as ‘the whiskey fighter’, spoke up and they all scattered. Some of the men 
were too drunk to return home so they remained in town through the night, and the next day 
did some damage to the town before finally leaving without weakening the people of 
Winnebago and their position regarding alcohol/ (Hilton 188). 

There were other means used other than threats and fighting. Fires became a 
motivator as well to end the sale of alcohol. In 1875, the community was made aware that the 
owner of the confectionary store was selling alcohol secretly. The store was burned and this 
convinced him to move on. Other fires have been noted in its history and the folklore exists 
that the women of Winnebago burned the buildings known to be serving alcohol (Church 46). 
Once they had burned the business on one side of Benton Street they burned the stores on the 
other side (Rowley). There still remains today several empty lots in the downtown of 
Winnebago from other fires. There were two fires in year of 1891, one in 1899 and the last in 

The status as a dry village has been maintained from 1861 through today. In 1997, a 
Liquor Ordinance was adopted; however the village holds a tight reign on the sale of liquor 
through controlled sale of liquor licenses. Though there are some establishments that sell 
liquor, but they are in limited numbers and the ordinance limits the proximity to schools and 
churches, thus currently making some areas ‘off limits’ to the sale of alcohol (Village 


Ordinance). The complicated ordinance and other associated annexation agreements prohibit 
any business south of McNair Street to sell alcohol (Elsen). 

The Downtown 

Downtown on Benton Street, where Winnebago has seen many changes, has had 
periods of growth and decline. It has suffered fires, periods of abandonment and a recent 
rebirth of business growth downtown could be jeopardized by business development coming 
to the village at the north end of town. 

Winnebago’s downtown is located on Benton Street, south of McNair Street, one 
block west of Elida between Main and Soper Street. The downtown serves as a place for a 
community to gather and stay informed, whether it be in one of the community buildings such 
as the Town Hall, over coffee at one of the diners, or simply at the grocery store where many 
would gather and share a game of checkers and a cup of coffee. It has been the ‘family room’ 
of the community. 

It is only one block in length, and has been home to several businesses from its 
beginning such as a bank from 1902 -1938, diners, and grocers, the telephone operator’s 
office/news office (the operator also provided the community with a local paper, as well as 
served as Village Clerk -she wore many hats), a gas station, and of course the US Post Office 
(Rowley). Today there are four restaurants, a hair salon, automotive service center, a pre 
school, a floral shop, a chocolatier, a chiropractor, and since 1919 the Masonic Lodge reside 
in the downtown (Winnebago Sesquicentennial 22). The Town Hall building built in 1893 
continues to be a gathering place for the community. It serves as a polling place for elections, 
and several churches have started by having their meetings there as well as other 


organizations. The Winnebago Township continues use this building as their center of 
operations. (Winnebago Sesquicentennial25) 

Shirley Crawford owns Garden Arts, on the comer of Soper and Benton Streets. The 
building was built around 1878. It at one time had been the US Post Office, and Harry 
DeGrote Grain & Feed. 

Kim Smith owns one of the two story buildings on Benton Street. Her cafe, Between 
Friends, draws the local community where they sit, talk or read a book, listen to music or 
browse the store. Here she also has artifacts from Winnebago’s past, such as the big steel sign 


from Bowman’s Dairy, and pictures of the store in the early part of the 20 century. During 
the spring through the early fall one can enjoy sitting on the deck outside. This deck is on the 
lot of the building that was burned in the 1909 fire and was never rebuilt. 

Cimino’s Pizza, now is in the place of what was the bank in 1902. The Citizens Bank 
began in 1902 and closed in the same year. Then in 1912 The Winnebago State Bank served 
the community through to 1928, when it was closed due to the inability to find buyers for 
their investments in the lands of the Great Plains. From 1928 to 1938 it operated as The 
Peoples Bank, however it too went in receivership after recommendation by the state auditor 
and became the first bank in the State of Illinois to be terminated (Winnebago 
Sesquicentennial 32). 

The recent formation of the Chamber of Commerce 2005 hopes to aid the downtown 
to thrive in spite of the recent growth at the north end of the village. On May 2, 2005, the 
Chamber held a ribbon cutting at the Village Hall in honor of their incorporation. A crowd of 
business owners from the community and the local media were present for the celebration. 


With the current traffic between Chicago and Galena Winnebago still remains the 
stopping place for travelers today reminiscent of its early years. But as anyone can see, 
Winnebago has more to offer than just a full tank of gas and a full stomach. Its rich history 
and wealth of tradition offers stories that are worthy to be told to the next generation. 

Photo by author. May 9, 2005 

This is the west side of Benton Street from the north end. The building on the comer is 
Anna’s Pizza, the next two-story building is Kim Smith’s cafe Between Friends. There is 
an empty lot in between, which was the result of the 1909 fire that detroyed the building. 

Photo by author. May 9, 2005 

This is the east side of Benton Street from the north. The comer building was the bank, 
but is now known as Cimino’s Pizza. 


See Map 28 

Map 30 

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Works Cited 

Centennial Organizing Committee. Civil War Soldier Monument Centennial. 1999 
Church, C. A. History of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois. Rockford, 

Illinois: The New England Society of Rockford, Illinois, 1900 
Elsen, Mary Beth. Personal Interview, April 2005 

Hilton, Doloras., Hilton, Faye. Winnebago and Middle Creek Pioneers: Inscriptions and 
Records of Middle Creek and Winnebago Cemeteries and Areas. Graphco Inc 
Minneapolis, MN, March 1981. 170-88 

Nelson, C. Hal (ed.) Sinnissippi Saga: A History of Rockford and Winnebago County, 
llinois. Wayside Press. Mendota, Illinois. 1968 
Secretary of State, Jesse White. Illinois Counties & Incorporated Municipalities 
Rowley, John. Personal Interview, February 2005 
Village of Winnebago. Local Ordinances, Ordinance 97-1 1 
Village of Winnebago. March Meeting Minutes 

Winnebago Historical Writers. We Remember: People of Our Past Winnebago, Illinois 
1998. 53 

Winnebago Sesquicentennial Committee. Winnebago Sesquicentennial 1 50 years Official 

History. 2004 

John Girone 

English 103, Section NDB Stenstrom 
10 May 2005 


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rockford Work: The Kenneth Laurent House 

Nestled into a gentle slope overlooking the Spring Creek in Rockford’s northeast 
side is a hidden treasure. Rockford’s only Frank Lloyd Wright house, located at 4646 
Spring Brook Road, is easy to miss Located just off the road, this private home has stood 
on this site for decades. The Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford has served as a quiet 
reminder of the city’s connection to one of America’s great architects, Frank Lloyd 
Wright, and remains a local example of some of his best work, the Usonian House style 

Beginning in the late 1930’s, Frank Lloyd Wright began to build a series of 
homes and buildings in a style he developed that would come to be called the Usonian 
design. The years following the Great Depression had created a demand for low-cost 
housing for large numbers of people that would be appropriate for an increasing modem 
society (Ehrlich 6). Frank Lloyd Wright’s radical new designs applied his lifelong 
principles of architecture, without the exotic qualities of his Prairie House format and 
other earlier designs, within a strict budget that middle-income families could afford 


(Ehrlich 8). Wright designed the houses for easy construction, and, in fact, encouraged 
owners to participate in the construction of the house or even to build the house 
themselves, an attempt by Wright to further reduce construction costs (Ehrlich 12). This 
would undoubtly give home owners a sense of ownership and connection to their homes 
that simply buying a house would not accomplish. 

The Kenneth Laurent House is a strong example of the Usonian House design in 
many regards. Usonian is a broad term used to describe around 140 houses that Wright 
designed between 1936 and 1959, although not all were actually built (Ehrlich 8). All 
Usonian Houses share some common characteristics, and the Kenneth Laurent House 
follows that rule. Most Usonians were built on a poured concrete platform, and Wright 
preferred to use local sand and gravel for the mix when possible, partly as another effort 
to reduce costs by saving shipping, and partly to continue his idea that each house should 
reflect the nature of the area it is located (Ehrlich 14). Encased in the concrete platforms 
of the Usonian Houses are radiant heating pipes that are fed from a gravity furnace, 
eliminating the need for radiators (common of the era in which the house was built) or the 
modem forced air furnace (Ehrlich 14). 

The kitchen, or “workspace” as Wright referred to the space, was built next, with 
a brick or flagstone core its center point, this core containing the chimney for the always 
present fireplace, as well as the exhaust for the kitchen (Ehrlich 15). All Usonian Houses 
used ready made walls that were assembled at the site; each wall consisted of two layers 
of tarpaper sandwiched between three layers of waterproofed local plywood, which 
afforded the structure with strength and good insulation inexpensively (Ehrlich 15). In the 


case of the Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford, the walls are built with grained cypress 
(Storrer 319). 

The last of the obvious common features shared by most Usonian Houses that can 
be found in the Kenneth Laurent House is the flexible modular grid design that Wright 
employed to tailor the house to the specific needs of each owner while remaining 
fundamentally the same in design and features (Ehrlich 14). This can be seen in the semi- 
circle design of the face of the Kenneth Laurent House, which is hidden from the road, 
also typical of Usonian design. 

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Kenneth Laurent House is also the most 
demonstrative of Wright’s desire to make each Usonian unique and adapted to its owner. 
As its owner, Kenneth Laurent, was confined to a wheelchair, the house was designed 
with that in mind. A single level structure, the Kenneth Laurent House was designed by 
Wright to make certain that all areas of the house, including most of the shelving and 
cabinets, were able to be navigated and enjoyed by Mr. Laurent (Storrer 319). 

The Kenneth Laurent House itself is located at 4646 Spring Brook Road, on the 
north side of the road approximately a quarter mile from Spring Creek Road. From the 
road, the carport and entryway are the only real views of the house that are visible to the 
public. The living space in the house faces to the northeast, and gives the owners a 
private view of the wonderful landscape as it slopes down to the Spring Creek, which 
runs through the edge of the property to the northeast. 

Common, tan bricks were used in construction, the hues of which are intended to, 
and succeed, in complimenting the cypress used for the interior walls, trim, fixtures, and 
furnishings, as well as the exterior trim of the house. Cypress was a common material 


used by Wright in his later Usonians, and he felt the waxed wood’s natural colors 
eliminated the need for wall coverings such as paint, paper, or paneling (Ehrlich 14). The 
Kenneth Laurent was built with a living space that consists of the workspace (kitchen), 
living room, and a shared dining space connecting the former two spaces (Storrer 319). 
The Usonian House design did not include a separate formal dining room, and instead in 
anticipation of the needs of modem families, Wright designed a single, open space that 
combined all three former rooms into one large room with separate areas for separate 
activities (Twombly 245). 

Originally, the Kenneth Laurent House was built with two bedrooms, which 
shared a joint bathroom (Storrer 319). However, whenever possible, Wright designed the 
Usonian Houses, the Laurent House included, with the future in mind, and attempted to 
provide designs for future expansion and change that would not alter or affect the 
statement of the original, personalized design (Twombly 313). Concerning most 
Usonians, Wright included designs for future bedrooms when he predicted family growth 
for the owners (Twombly 313). Wright designed the Kenneth Laurent House to include 
the addition of a third bedroom to be built at a later date, as deemed neccessary by the 
Laurents, in a manner that would not noticeably change the outward appearance of the 
house, or change the function and flow of the interior space in the home (Twombly 313). 
John H. Howe used Wright’s design to build the third bedroom onto the Laurent house at 
a later (unknown) date (Storrer 319). The addition was added past the entryway, next to 
the carport, and thanks to Wright’s forward thinking, has the appearance of being part of 
the original structure. 


Construction began in 1948, and Mr. Kenneth and Phyliss Laurent moved into the 
completed house in 1951 ( Rockford City Directory 1951). Although at the time of this 
research the Laurents were unavailable for an interview, some information about the only 
owners to live in the house was available. Mr. Kenneth Laurent is listed as a statistician 
(sometimes listed as a supervisor, depending on the year) for the National Lock Company, 
an early and longtime Rockford industry giant, from 1951 until 1970, after which city 
directories cease to list an occupation for Mr. Laurent ( Rockford City Directory 1951- 
1970). The Laurents are believed to have moved from 230 South Highland in Rockford to 
what is now known as the Kenneth Laurent House in 1951 (Rockford City Directory 
1951). It is also believed the Laurents operated a business, Village Gifts, on the property, 
with records first indicating this in 1958 ( Rockford City Directory 1958). Information as 
to whether this business was actually located within the house, or another building on the 
property was not available at the time of this research. From the time of construction until 
1969, the Kenneth Laurent house is listed as a rural property, its address RD4 indicating 
that it was outside city limits ( Rockford City Directory 1951-1969). In 1969, the Kenneth 
Laurent House begins being listed as 4646 Spring Brook Road, and is listed as being 
within city limits ( Rockford City Directory 1969). The Laurents are listed as the owners 
of the home in the city directory as recently as 2003 (the most current directory available 
at the time of this research), and a search of 2005 phone listings shows Kenneth Laurent 
at the same address, indicating that they still own and occupy the home as of March 2005 
( Yellow Book Phone Directory Rockford 2005-2006 169). 

As the city of Rockford and its surrounding communities continue to grow and 
develop, houses and neighborhoods continue to be built into the farmland and 


countryside. Over the past fifty years or so, little innovation or original design can be 
seen in the vast majority of homes and buildings that make up the city of Rockford. New 
houses seem only to change in size (always larger), and neighborhoods today are built 
pretty much the same way they were in 1948- a few designs for builders to choose from, 
little consideration for nature and privacy, and little or no personalization of the homes to 
the owners. Remaining the polar opposite and a reminder of the forward thinking of 
Frank Lloyd Wright, the Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford is an invisible beacon of 
individuality and original design. Had all those who had built their new homes in 
Rockford in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s shared Kenneth Laurent’s ability to see how 
much home could be had for so little money, perhaps Rockford would have become the 
Usonian community Wright had dreamed of building. For those willing to seek out the 
Kenneth Laurent House, an example of great design and a yet another reminder of how 
interesting our community truly is stands quietly today, just as it has for over fifty years. 


Photo by Peter Beers 10 May 2004 

Kenneth Laurent House, 4646 Spring Brook Road, Rockford IL 
Looking south-west from rear of property. 



Photo by Peter Beers 10 May 2004 

Kenneth Laurent House, 4646 Spring Brook Road, Rockford IL 
As seen from Spring Brook Road, traveling east. 


Works Cited 

Beers, Peter. . 10 May 2004. 18 April 2005. rt/Illinois/Laurent/Laurent.htm 
Ehrlich, Doreen. Frank Llovd Wright at a Glance: Usonian Houses . New York: PRC 
Publishing, 2002 

McLeodUSA Yellow Book. Rockford/Belvidere/Loves Pa r k/ Machesnev Par k 200 5-2006 . 
McLeodUSA, 2005 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1951 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1952. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1952 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1953 
Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1953 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1954 
Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1954 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1955 
Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1955 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1955. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1956 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1956. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1957 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1956. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1958 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1958. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1959 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1959. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory I960 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1960. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1961 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1961. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1962 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1962. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1963 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1963. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1964 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1964. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1965 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1965. 


Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1966 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1966. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1967 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1967. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1968 . Milwaukee: R.L. Polk, 1968 
Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1969 . St. Paul: R.L. Polk, 1969. 

Polk’s Rockford City Directory 1970 . St. Paul. R.L. Polk, 1970. 

Rockford and Belvidere Illinois Polk City Directory 2003 . Livonia, MI: R.L. Polk, 2003. 
Storrer, William Allin. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright . MIT Press, 1979 
Twombly, Robert C. Frank Lloyd Wright: His Life and His Architecture . John Wiley and 
Sons, Inc., 1979. 

Rock Valley College